The project is focused on the archaeological and bioarchaeological study of the elite of the Great Moravian Empire. The relation of the funeral rite elements and the grave inventory to biological characteristics of relevant population groups shall be analysed upon two “elite” burial grounds in Mikulčice (churches III and IV), another necropolis in the hinterland (Josefov), and selected “elite” graves from the whole agglomeration. This shall be performed on the basis of (1) statistical processing of data from a detailed database from approx. 1,000 graves, (2) conventional archaeological analysis of selected elements of the funeral rites and grave inventory, and (3) a broadly designed anthropological research with the use of stable C and N isotopes for monitoring diet, 3-D imaging methods, and geometric morphometrics tools for studying the morphological variability. The main objective is to submit a new picture of the elite, consisting of a historical view of their identity and lifestyle including diet. This multidisciplinary view shall be ensured by the interconnection of a large team of specialists from archaeology, history, anthropology, biology, archaeobotany, and archaeozoology. The project goal is an analysis of social differentiation and identification of characteristics of the elite in the Early Medieval population of the 9th century in Mikulčice. Partial goals are focused on the relations between the diet upon the study of the stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes and biological and social indicators of the lifestyle.

Project name: The lifestyle and identity of the Great Moravian Empire’s aristocracy: archaeological and bioarchaeological analysis of evidence of the elite in Mikulčice
Code: 17-01878S
Duration: 2017–2019
Agency: Czech Science Foundation
Project type: consortial (NM as a secondary investigator)
NM’s investigator: RNDr. Petr Velemínský Ph.D.
Other participants: Institute of Archaeology of the CAS, Brno (PhDr. Lumír Poláček CSc.), Faculty of Science, Charles University (doc. RNDr. Jaroslav Brůžek, CSc., Ph.D.)

Anticipated results/outputs:
Ibrová A., Dupej J., Stránská P., Velemínský P., Poláček L., Velemínská J. 2017: Facial skeleton asymmetry and its relationship to mastication in the Early Medieval period (Great Moravian Empire, Mikulčice, 9th–10th century). Archives of Oral Biology 84, 2017: 64-73.
Bejdová Š., Dupej J., Krajíček V., Velemínská J., Velemínský P. 2018: Stability of upper face sexual dimorphism in Central European populations (Czech Republic) during the Modern Age. International Journal of Legal Medicine 132, 1: 321–330.
Ibrová A., Kaupová S., Baylle P., Velemínský P., Poláček L., Velemínská J.: Diet of the Early Medieval population (Great Moravian Empire, 9th–10th century AD, Czech Republic): Synthesis of geochemical methods and virtual anthropology. EAA 2018 conference papers, Barcelona.
Jílková M., Kaupová S., Brůžek J., Poláček L., Velemínský P.: Diet and its changes during the live in the early Medieval Population of Central Europe (provisional title). EAA 2018 conference papers, Barcelona.
Bejdová Š. et al.: Sexual dimorphism of the face and its social differences in the Great Moravian Empire’s population–equipment (ruling elite members and other individuals) with the use of methodology published in 2017.
Ibrová A. et al.: Synthesis diet on the base of stable isotope analysis and enamel thickness analysis. The publication will be prepared during this year and is expected to be sent for a review early in 2019.
Kovačiková, L. et al.: Pig husbandry practices in the early medieval settlement in the Czech Republic. The publication manuscript will be submitted to peer review in the Environmental Archaeology.
Poláček L.: The issue of interior church graves in Mikulčice
Ibrová A. et al.: Microstrure of human teeth and intra-cementary variation
Velemínský P. et al.: Manifestations of non-specific stress in the Early Medieval population the Great Moravian Empire in relation to a social structure of the Great Moravian Empire’s society
Poláček L. et al.: On the representation of the Great Moravian Empire’s elite in funeral rites
Poláček L. et al.: Moravian elites in the 9th century from Mikulčice

Velemínský Petr, RNDr., Ph.D.

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