Location: Pernosano, Italy
The Church of Santa Maria Assunta in Pernosano
The first extant historical account of the church is derived from a document dating to 1195, which mentions its construction in the 10th century. By 1591 the church had largely fallen into disrepair, and in the early 17th century after several bouts of plague, the modern church was built above it with the earlier church converted into a series of crypts used well into the 19th century. Destruction and looting befell the town of Pago del Vallo di Lauro for much of the 19th century, first caused by the influx of French troops and later by that of the Bourbon army.
The human remains disinterred from the church (during excavations from 1998 to 2012) are housed in a large storage room annexed to the modern church above. The collection of skeletal material consists of a minimum of about 60 individuals and preservation appears to vary from good to excellent.
Two-week course in human osteology
For those interested in learning how to interpret a historic skeletal assemblage, the Apolline Project is offering two, 2-week intensive boot camps in human osteology this summer. Students will be instructed and immersed in the practical application of techniques used to correctly analyse human remains and will play an integral role in helping to better understand the previously unstudied collection of Pernosano. In general, days will begin with a formal lecture (1.5-2.5 hours) pertaining to one specific area in physical anthropology. Students will then apply what they have learned in practical, hands on exercises following the formal lesson. Lessons will provide a comprehensive overview to human osteology, and will give a regional context by introducing local case studies. Lessons will be combined with trips to nearby sites and guest speakers are planning to lecture on their specific fields of interest within physical anthropology.
Skills that students will acquire upon completion of this course include: bone identification, side identification, fragment identification, determination of sex, determination of age at death, identification of both specific and non-specific pathologies, cleaning and proper curation of a collection, interpretation of basic isotopic data to determine dietary patterns, differentiation between human and faunal skeletal material, familiarity with dating techniques applicable to human remains, identification of juvenile skeletal remains, calculation of robusticity, and determination of stature using various regression formulae.
Lesson: Introduction to human osteology
Practical: Bone identification and landmarks of the cranium
Lesson A: Regional applications for the study of human remains
Lesson B: Determination of age and sex
Practical: Determining age and sex
Lesson A: Estimation of Race and Stature
Lesson B: Dating Techniques
Practical: Taking long bone measurements to estimate stature
Lesson: Identifying Human vs. Non-Human
Lesson A: Paleodietary analysis: Carbon and Nitrogen isotopes; microwear analysis, residue analysis.
Lesson B: Ancient Migration and Mobility: Strontium and Oxygen isotopes
Practical: Identifying cranial fragments
Lesson: Regional Applications and critiques
Practical: Identifying post-cranial fragments
Lesson: Pathologies, trauma and non-metric variation
Practical: Pathology and trauma analysis
Lesson: Determining Age by Social Context
Lesson: Ethics and Legislation
Student Presentations of biological profiles of selected skeletons
* Denotes quiz that day, following practical
Further details can be found on our website at http://www.apollineproject.org/bones.html and the application form at http://www.apollineproject.org/academics/application-form.php
Period(s) of Occupation: 10th Century
Room and Board Arrangements
Hostel-like accomodations. An internet key-drive will be provided.
Academic CreditNumber of credits offered: none