Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Skeletal evidence of the social persona : life, death and society in early medieval Alamannic communities
Author: Speith, Nivien
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2012
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Historic-archaeological research on the Alamanni, an early medieval population in the periphery of the Frankish Empire, primarily focuses on themes such as their military character or issues of ethnicity, while the actual functioning of Alamannic societies remains conjectural. Aiming at presenting an integrated approach to the concepts of social organisation and social identities in Alamannic populations, this study examines and defines Alamannic identity and society by creating a dialogue between the disciplines of archaeology, biological anthropology and socio-cultural sciences. A bioarchaeology of identity explores the Alamanni of Pleidelsheim and Neresheim via their funerary and skeletal evidence, allowing for the factor of different environments that influence the interactions of a community. A key theme is the investigation of indicators for biological and social 'status', by direct association of bioanthropological with funerary archaeological data, as well as by evaluation of present interpretations made from material culture in the light of bioanthropological analysis as a paramount focus. The results are interpreted in terms of social status and the perception of certain social parameters, exploring interrelations between factors such as sex and gender, age, status and activity for the entirety of a society. This research offers new perspectives on Alamannic societies and helps to comprehend Alamannic social organisation as a multi-layered phenomenon, emphasizing the importance of a biocultural approach. Beyond common perceptions, this study forms the basis for a new understanding of the Alamanni, as the results reveal a society that was complex and diverse, displaying its own characteristics in the Merovingian world.
Supervisor: Armitt, Ian; Knüsel, Christopher J.; Heron, Carl P. Sponsor: AHRC ; British Archaeological Association
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Bioarchaeology ; Early medieval ; Alamanni ; Merovingian ; Social identities ; Archaeology ; Biological anthropology ; Death and burial ; Palaeopathology ; Musculoskeletal stress markers