Abstract

Church Burials from the Ancient Byzantine Settlement in Khirbet es-Samrā in Jordan

This report presents the results of the osteological analysis that were carried out on human remains excavated in two tombs that were dug in side-rooms of differing churches in Khirbet es Samrā site, north of Jordan, and dated to the 7th century. The first, Room-94 tomb, contained the remains of six males, five adults and a child, while in the second, Chrch-79 tomb, a senile female was buried, and not the archaeologically anticipated male church functionary. Besides documenting some less common, if not rare, anatomic variants, the report presents a number of observed pathological features, including two very probable brucella cases. Despite the absence of a conclusive evidence and mainly based on the observed biological features (aided with archaeological evidence), it was suggested that six successively buried in the first tomb were possibly members of a prosperous family that was somehow associated,
i.e. not clerical, with the adjacent church, where they were allowed to be buried andnot in the proper cemetery just outside the ancient town. It was also hinted upon apossible relatedness between all those buried in both tombs.


Author(s): Abdalla J. Nabulsi

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