They found that medieval Europeans regularly reopened tombs, and did not steal them



June 19, 2021 16:24 GMT

Until now, scholars do not know why this funerary practice spread over such a large area in such a short period of time.

The societies that lived in Europe between the fifth and seventh centuries were Usually graves reopen إعادة and removing objects for reasons archaeologists are trying to understand. A team of researchers has identified hundreds of tombs from the Roman region of Transylvania to southern England, which were reopened or tampered with shortly after being buried, says one study, published This Friday is in Antiquity magazine.

Previously, the reopened tombs were thought to reflect isolated cases of theft, however, new research confirms that they were. A widespread practice in Europe in the early Middle Ages, which were part of the usual funeral customs.

“They made a careful selection of the possessions they carried, especially taking women’s pins and men’s swords, but They left a lot of valuablesIncluding valuable metal objects such as gold or silver pendants”, Hinge Alison Klevnas, a researcher at Stockholm University and the study’s lead author, noted that the artifacts were removed even when they were broken, indicating that they had not been used for use or resale.

Although the reopening of tombs was a widespread activity, there were variations, presumably based on local traditions or even depending on who was buried. Most modifications consist of Remove selected objects, but other cases include handling the dead, damaging objects, removing body parts and, in one case, adding a dog to the burial.

“Tomb robbery seems to be a passive act, but it really does seem to be. socially positive In this case. Klevnas explained that people continued to bury the dead in cemeteries, along with the frequent work of reopening graves. “We can even see that some of the graves where customs were reopened were used longer than those where the dead were left .in peace,” he added.

However, scholars do not know why this practice has spread to such a large area in such a short period of time.

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