The Strozzi Sarcophagus of Ravenna: anthropological analysis, morphological and palæopathological observations on the skeletons contained therein.

Main Article Content

S. De Carolis
E. Rastelli
V. Papa
R. Lorenzi
E. Varotto
F.M. Galassi

Abstract

The basilica of San Francesco, a major church in Ravenna, features two white marble sarcophagi on both sides of the entrance door. Known as the ‘Strozzi sarcophagus’, the burial to the left was opened in 2008 during extensive restoration work. To the surprise of the investigators, the sarcophagus did not just contain the remains of Giovanni Martino Astocii (or Strozzi), a notary recognised to have been buried there in the 16th century, but accommodated many dislodged bones belonging to several individuals. This paper presents the results of an anthropological and palæopathological investigation aimed at identifying the Minimum Number of the buried Individuals (MNI), their age at death, sex and diseases. At least 7 adults and 5 non-adults were identified as resting in the Strozzi sarcophagus, given a MNI of 12. Among the adults, there were at least two males and one female and at least one young individual and an elderly one.
There are two possible explanations for the presence of so many individuals in the sarcophagus. The bones could either belong to various members of the Strozzi family or could be the result of an early 19th-century contamination, as the remains were first thrown into a mass grave and then put back into the sarcophagus.

Article Details

How to Cite
De Carolis, S., Rastelli, E., Papa, V., Lorenzi, R., Varotto, E., & Galassi, F. (2021). The Strozzi Sarcophagus of Ravenna: anthropological analysis, morphological and palæopathological observations on the skeletons contained therein. Human Evolution , 35(3-4). https://doi.org/10.14673/HE2021341090
Section
Articles
Author Biographies

S. De Carolis, School of the History of Medicine, Medical and Dental Association of the Province of Rimini

De Carolis S.1* 
School of the History of Medicine,
Medical and Dental Association of the Province of Rimini
(Ordine dei Medici-Chirurghi e degli Odontoiatri della Provincia di Rimini),
Rimini, Emilia-Romagna,
Italy. 

V. Papa, Department of Motor Sciences and Wellness, School of Sciences, Engineering and Health, University of Naples

V. Papa
FAPAB Research Center, Avola (SR), Sicily,
Italy.

Department of Motor Sciences and Wellness,
School of Sciences, Engineering and Health,
University of Naples 
“Parthenope”, 
Naples, Campania,
Italy.

 

 

 

R. Lorenzi, FAPAB Research Center, Avola (SR), Sicily, Italy

R. Lorenzi
FAPAB Research Center, Avola (SR),
Sicily, Italy

E. Varotto, School of the History of Medicine, Medical and Dental Association of the Province of Rimini

E. Varotto
School of the History of Medicine, Medical and Dental Association of the Province of Rimini
(Ordine dei Medici-Chirurghi e degli Odontoiatri della Provincia di Rimini),
Rimini, Emilia-Romagna, Italy. 

FAPAB Research Center, Avola (SR), Sicily,
Italy.

Archaeology, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences,
Flinders University,
Adelaide, SA,
Australia.

 

 

 

F.M. Galassi, Archaeology, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA, Australia.

Galassi F.M.
School of the History of Medicine, Medical and Dental Association of the Province of Rimini
(Ordine dei Medici-Chirurghi e degli Odontoiatri della Provincia di Rimini),
Rimini, Emilia-Romagna, Italy. 

FAPAB Research Center, Avola (SR),
Sicily, Italy.

Archaeology, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences,
Flinders University,
Adelaide, SA, Australia.