Perimortem sharp force trauma in an individual from the early medieval cemetery of Säben-Sabiona in South Tyrol, Italy
MetadataShow full item record
Objective To provide a detailed analysis and interpretation of cranial and postcranial lesions noted on an early medieval skeleton from the Italian Alps. Materials Individual (SK63) was buried within the early Christian church (5th-8th centuries AD) of Säben-Sabiona in South Tyrol (Italy). Methods The skeleton underwent macroscopic, microscopic and metric analyses. Results SK63 was a 19–25 year old male, the analysis identified at least 29 lesions, consisting of three possible antemortem injuries and 26 perimortem sharp force injuries on the cranium (n = 4) and postcranium (n = 22). Conclusions The trauma pattern observed indicates that different bladed weapons were used and interpersonal violence rather than a large-scale conflict led to the death of SK63. Significance The present findings provide novel information on violent interpersonal interactions in early medieval Säben-Sabiona, Italy. Limitations The sequence of the inflicted injuries was not reconstructed. Suggestions for Further Research Future interdisciplinary investigations (i.e., 3D imaging and reconstructions) will provide a better understanding of the possible types of weapons used to inflict injuries, the required forces to create the lesions, as well as the directions of impact.