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A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Possible Norman Cemetery Excavated in Sicily

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Sicily medieval cemeteryWROCLAW, POLAND—Science in Poland reports that researchers led by Sławomir Moździoch of the Polish Academy of Sciences have discovered a medieval cemetery in Sicily, near the ruins of the church of San Michele del Golfo. After examining the bones from ten of the graves, the researchers were able to classify just five of the dead as three women and two children. The size and build of the bones suggests they may have been Normans from northern France, who conquered the island in addition to parts of southern Italy. “In the second half of the eleventh century, the island was recaptured from the Arabs by a Norman nobleman, Roger de Hauteville,” Moździoch explained. The church, which resembles those found in Western Europe, is also thought to have been built at this time, at a strategic location on a hill. Coins minted in Champagne and Lucca have been discovered within it. To read about the skeleton of a warrior recently discovered in northern Italy, go to “Late Antique TLC.”

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