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Archéo-biogéochimie isotopique, reconstitutions des régimes alimentaires et des schémas de mobilité, et interactions bioculturelles. Les sépultures plurielles de la catacombe des Saints Pierre-et-Marcellin (Rome, Ier-IIIe s. ap. J.-C.) : Les sépultures plurielles de la région X de la catacombe des Saints Pierre-et-Marcellin (Rome, Ier-IIIe s. ap. J.-C.)

Abstract : An assembly of unpublished complex plural burials (1st-3rd cent. AD.) was discovered and partially excavated, between 2003 and 2010 in the central region called X of the catacomb of Saints Peter and Marcellinus in Rome. It contains several hundred individuals which were buried according to uncommon funeral practices following a mortality episode of likely epidemic nature. To understand the life history (diet and mobility patterns) of these deceased and to discuss again certain assumptions previously established on the basis of new evidences, we have as part of this work conducted an archaeo-biogeochemical multi-proxy (14C, δ13C, δ15N, δ18O et 87Sr/86Sr) and multi-tissue (enamel, bones, hair) approach on a sub-sample of 130 individuals coming from six different chambers. At the outset, we tested the biochemical and isotopic integrity of mineral (carbonate phases) and organic fractions (collagen and keratin phases) samples from conventional indicators measured in routine (%Col, %C, %N, C/N, PCO2 et PCO2/Mass), by FTIR spectroscopy (IRSF, CO3/PO4 and AmideI/PO4) and by an innovative approach consisting of 14C dating on collagen-apatite to validate the isotopic signal of mineral fractions. Our results highlight extreme differences of preservation of all phases. Diagenetic trajectory of samples is however not random but dependent on environmental and taphonomical conditions which differ between small and large chambers. Furthermore, we have been able to demonstrate that, despite strong recrystallization and isotopic exchanges with the sepulchral environment, carbonated phases have an unaltered biogenic isotopic signal. Secondly, we rebuilt the diets of individuals based on robust comparisons repositories and various interpretative models (mono-proxy versus multi-proxies; qualitative versus quantitative) which were, in some cases, adapted to the needs of our study. In general, our results show that most of the individuals had access to such a type diet based on the triad Cereals C3/Meat C3/Marine fish. This type diet would however not be exclusive, some individuals (n = 13) would have indeed occasionally consumed other resources such as freshwater fish or C4 cereals. Our results indicate that changes of diet during the life history are relatively limited. Besides, with regard to consumed food, this population is distinguished from other contemporary Roman populations for whom isotopic values are published. In the third place, we studied individual’s mobility patterns based on a rigorous approach to our data and on a comparison of the most comprehensive repositories as possible with taking into account the bias usually evaded (cultural facts, influence of climate and errors associated with conversion equations). Our results highlight that a minimum of 23% (n = 30) of the studied individuals are migrants. These, however, are not distinguished from Roman residents through their diet. We were able to show further that these migrants had complex and heterogeneous trajectories during their life within three distinct mobility patterns characterizing them. In terms of migrant’s rates, our population does not differ from other Roman populations for which the isotopic data are available. It differs however by its cosmopolitanism with origins for more diverse migrants: Europe, Africa, Arabia and Asia Minor [...].
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Submitted on : Tuesday, April 3, 2018 - 10:52:10 AM
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Kevin Salesse. Archéo-biogéochimie isotopique, reconstitutions des régimes alimentaires et des schémas de mobilité, et interactions bioculturelles. Les sépultures plurielles de la catacombe des Saints Pierre-et-Marcellin (Rome, Ier-IIIe s. ap. J.-C.) : Les sépultures plurielles de la région X de la catacombe des Saints Pierre-et-Marcellin (Rome, Ier-IIIe s. ap. J.-C.). Archéologie et Préhistoire. Université de Bordeaux, 2015. Français. ⟨NNT : 2015BORD0412⟩. ⟨tel-01756388v2⟩

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