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Research Groningen Institute of Archaeology Research Research groups GIA

‘Resurrecting’ Berytus: Osteoarchaeological Analysis and an Evaluation of Mortuary Practices and Cultural Exchange (1st century BC – 5th century AD)

Vana Kalenderian
Vana Kalenderian

Vana Kalenderian, MSc


Promotors: Dr. Lidewijde de Jong and Prof. Sofia Voutsaki

Period of employment: 2014-2018

Financed by: Faculty of Arts

Project Description:

This research project investigates the changes accompanying the annexation of Syria into the Roman Empire in 64 BC. It focuses on the city of Berytus (modern day Beirut, Lebanon) and aims to understand the process of cultural exchange and imperial assimilation through the analysis of mortuary practices and human skeletal remains.

A large number of recently excavated tombs from Beirut will be studied. The burial practices will be examined and compared to those prevalent in the region prior to the Roman conquest to identify new customary introductions. Patterns related to age, sex, health and social status will also be considered. The osteological examination will further aid in the reconstruction of the demography of the population, and stable isotope analysis will help indicate regions of provenance of the inhabitants and shed light on the social composition of the city.

The combination of historical, archaeological and scientific perspectives in this research project will allow for the better comprehension of the cultural and social changes associated with the establishment of a colony in Berytus, and will help answer questions of local identity, co-existence and integration in one of the Eastern provinces of the Roman Empire.

Last modified:23 July 2018 1.29 p.m.