Case Study: The Italian Outcasts

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2. Case Studies

2.1 The Italian Outcasts The first case study I will analyze is what I call "The Italian Outcasts". The Italian Outcasts refer to multiple cemeteries located in the Veneto Region of Italy. This area contains over 30 cemetery contexts with as many as 2000 graves, and has been excavated at various times by various researchers (Perego 2014, p. 161; Saracino et al. 2014, p. 3). These cemeteries have been dated to the Bronze and Iron Ages, where the custom funerary rite was cremation burial (Perego 2014; Saracino et al. 2014). In this region and time period, when a person died, his or her remains would be cremated on a funeral pyre, the ashes would then be collected into an urn, and the urn would then be buried in a mound or tomb
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2011). The Headless Romans refer to a cemetery in use throughout the Roman period from the 1st to 4th century, and is located in Driffield Terrace, York, England (Müldner et al. 2011; Hunter-Mann 2015). The site was excavated in 2004 to 2005 by the York Archaeological Trust, an independent archaeological organization in the U.K., with the help of researchers from the universities of York, Durham, Reading, Trinity College Dublin, and Teeside (York Archaeological Trust n.d.). Although there is also the possibility that some small parts of the site may have been disturbed in the late 19th century during building works in the area, it does not appear to have affected the graves (Hunter-Mann 2015, p. 3, 6-7). A total of 82 individuals were excavated at the site with at least 46 showing signs of decapitation (Hunter-Mann 2015, p. 8).This cemetery is unusual because it contains the remains of almost all male skeletons with the exception of one female, and most of these remains show signs of severe trauma (Müldner et al. 2011; Hunter-Mann 2015) including carnivore bite marks (Hunter-Mann 2015, p. 8, 18). It has been speculated that these men were once gladiators (Müldner et al. 2011; Hunter-Mann 2015). What really makes this site unique however, is that more than half of the skeletons have been decapitated, and although decapitation isn 't necessarily unusual, this number of decapitations in a single cemetery is (Müldner et al. 2011; Hunter-Mann

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