Skeletal Remains from Punic Carthage Do Not Support Systematic Sacrifice of Infants
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{"title"=>"Skeletal remains from punic carthage do not support systematic sacrifice of infants", "type"=>"journal", "authors"=>[{"first_name"=>"Jeffrey H.", "last_name"=>"Schwartz", "scopus_author_id"=>"7404276054"}, {"first_name"=>"Frank", "last_name"=>"Houghton", "scopus_author_id"=>"36616365600"}, {"first_name"=>"Roberto", "last_name"=>"Macchiarelli", "scopus_author_id"=>"6701717392"}, {"first_name"=>"Luca", "last_name"=>"Bondioli", "scopus_author_id"=>"56013040100"}], "year"=>2010, "source"=>"PLoS ONE", "identifiers"=>{"scopus"=>"2-s2.0-77949526207", "issn"=>"19326203", "pui"=>"358466914", "sgr"=>"77949526207", "isbn"=>"1932-6203", "pmid"=>"20174667", "doi"=>"10.1371/journal.pone.0009177", "arxiv"=>"arXiv:0811.2183v2"}, "id"=>"1e7c9a84-0607-3da9-aeec-7de695a9a8e5", "abstract"=>"Two types of cemeteries occur at Punic Carthage and other Carthaginian settlements: one centrally situated housing the remains of older children through adults, and another at the periphery of the settlement (the \"Tophet\") yielding small urns containing the cremated skeletal remains of very young animals and humans, sometimes comingled. Although the absence of the youngest humans at the primary cemeteries is unusual and worthy of discussion, debate has focused on the significance of Tophets, especially at Carthage, as burial grounds for the young. One interpretation, based on two supposed eye-witness reports of large-scale Carthaginian infant sacrifice [Kleitarchos (3(rd) c. BCE) and Diodorus Siculus (1(st) c. BCE)], a particular translation of inscriptions on some burial monuments, and the argument that if the animals had been sacrificed so too were the humans, is that Tophets represent burial grounds reserved for sacrificial victims. An alternative hypothesis acknowledges that while the Carthaginians may have occasionally sacrificed humans, as did their contemporaries, the extreme youth of Tophet individuals suggests these cemeteries were not only for the sacrificed, but also for the very young, however they died. Here we present the first rigorous analysis of the largest sample of cremated human skeletal remains (348 burial urns, N = 540 individuals) from the Carthaginian Tophet based on tooth formation, enamel histology, cranial and postcranial metrics, and the potential effects of heat-induced bone shrinkage. Most of the sample fell within the period prenatal to 5-to-6 postnatal months, with a significant presence of prenates. Rather than indicating sacrifice as the agent of death, this age distribution is consistent with modern-day data on perinatal mortality, which at Carthage would also have been exacerbated by numerous diseases common in other major cities, such as Rome and Pompeii. Our diverse approaches to analyzing the cremated human remains from Carthage strongly support the conclusion that Tophets were cemeteries for those who died shortly before or after birth, regardless of the cause.", "link"=>"http://www.mendeley.com/research/skeletal-remains-punic-carthage-not-support-systematic-sacrifice-infants", "reader_count"=>59, "reader_count_by_academic_status"=>{"Professor > Associate Professor"=>4, "Researcher"=>14, "Student > Doctoral Student"=>2, "Student > Ph. D. Student"=>10, "Student > Postgraduate"=>2, "Other"=>3, "Student > Master"=>8, "Student > Bachelor"=>7, "Lecturer > Senior Lecturer"=>3, "Professor"=>6}, "reader_count_by_user_role"=>{"Professor > Associate Professor"=>4, "Researcher"=>14, "Student > Doctoral Student"=>2, "Student > Ph. D. Student"=>10, "Student > Postgraduate"=>2, "Other"=>3, "Student > Master"=>8, "Student > Bachelor"=>7, "Lecturer > Senior Lecturer"=>3, "Professor"=>6}, "reader_count_by_subject_area"=>{"Unspecified"=>2, "Materials Science"=>1, "Mathematics"=>1, "Medicine and Dentistry"=>6, "Agricultural and Biological Sciences"=>13, "Arts and Humanities"=>20, "Design"=>1, "Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science"=>1, "Psychology"=>2, "Social Sciences"=>9, "Earth and Planetary Sciences"=>3}, "reader_count_by_subdiscipline"=>{"Design"=>{"Design"=>1}, "Materials Science"=>{"Materials Science"=>1}, "Medicine and Dentistry"=>{"Medicine and Dentistry"=>6}, "Social Sciences"=>{"Social Sciences"=>9}, "Psychology"=>{"Psychology"=>2}, "Earth and Planetary Sciences"=>{"Earth and Planetary Sciences"=>3}, "Agricultural and Biological Sciences"=>{"Agricultural and Biological Sciences"=>13}, "Mathematics"=>{"Mathematics"=>1}, "Unspecified"=>{"Unspecified"=>2}, "Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science"=>{"Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science"=>1}, "Arts and Humanities"=>{"Arts and Humanities"=>20}}, "reader_count_by_country"=>{"Turkey"=>1, "United States"=>5, "Brazil"=>1, "Mexico"=>1, "Italy"=>1, "United Kingdom"=>1, "Spain"=>1}, "group_count"=>1}

Scopus | Further Information

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Figshare

  • {"files"=>["https://ndownloader.figshare.com/files/862763"], "description"=>"<p>A: From a single urn, the calcined remains of the remains of a single individual (as reflected in the diversity and non-duplication of preserved skeletal elements). B: Reassociated, partially calcined upper and barely burned middle parts of a right humerus to illustrate the possible degree of fragmentation, dissociation, and consequent disparate crematory fates of parts of the same bone. C: Differentially charred cervical vertebrae still in anatomical position representing one of various indications of incomplete cremation. D: Various pelvic ilia with intact greater sciatic notches (indicated by arrows), whose width (from most to least obtuse) suggests classification as hyperfeminine (upper left), feminine (upper right), hypermasculine (lower left), and masculine (lower right). E: Two left (left) and four right unfused petrosal bones; a straightforward analysis of MNI may suggest the presence of four individuals, but detailed analysis of the urn contents that yielded these petrosals does not provide evidence of four complete individuals in the same urn. (Scales in mm.)</p>", "links"=>[], "tags"=>["variably", "burned", "duplicate", "skeletal"], "article_id"=>533217, "categories"=>["Developmental Biology", "Medicine", "Computational Biology"], "users"=>["Jeffrey H. Schwartz", "Frank Houghton", "Roberto Macchiarelli", "Luca Bondioli"], "doi"=>"https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0009177.g003", "stats"=>{"downloads"=>4, "page_views"=>21, "likes"=>0}, "figshare_url"=>"https://figshare.com/articles/_Examples_of_variably_burned_bone_female_vs_male_ilia_and_duplicate_skeletal_elements_/533217", "title"=>"Examples of variably burned bone, female vs male ilia, and duplicate skeletal elements.", "pos_in_sequence"=>0, "defined_type"=>1, "published_date"=>"2010-02-17 00:53:37"}
  • {"files"=>["https://ndownloader.figshare.com/files/862900"], "description"=>"<p>A: Hypophyseal fossa length. B: Hypophyseal fossa width. C: Petrosal length. D: Petrosal width. E: Pars basilaris length. F: Pars basilaris width. G: Ischium length. H: Ischium height. I: Pubis length. In the graph, the same bones are compared to data from Fazekas and Kósa <a href=\"http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0009177#pone.0009177-Fazekas1\" target=\"_blank\">[17]</a> and also increased by 5, 10 and 25%. The horizontal line in each represents birth.</p>", "links"=>[], "tags"=>["ages-at-death", "incrementally", "skeletal", "elements", "sufficiently", "preserved"], "article_id"=>533352, "categories"=>["Developmental Biology", "Medicine", "Computational Biology"], "users"=>["Jeffrey H. Schwartz", "Frank Houghton", "Roberto Macchiarelli", "Luca Bondioli"], "doi"=>"https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0009177.g004", "stats"=>{"downloads"=>0, "page_views"=>11, "likes"=>0}, "figshare_url"=>"https://figshare.com/articles/_Plots_of_ages_at_death_determined_by_actual_maximum_and_incrementally_increased_size_of_skeletal_elements_sufficiently_preserved_for_accurate_measurement_/533352", "title"=>"Plots of ages-at-death determined by actual (maximum) and incrementally increased size of skeletal elements sufficiently preserved for accurate measurement.", "pos_in_sequence"=>0, "defined_type"=>1, "published_date"=>"2010-02-17 00:55:52"}
  • {"files"=>["https://ndownloader.figshare.com/files/862575"], "description"=>"<p>A: Longitudinal/buccolingual thin-section of a human upper deciduous central incisor (Urn no. 5817) with a 9.7 µm-thick NL on the buccal (right) side, close to the external enamel margin; the relatively thin postnatal enamel and the distance of the NL from the tooth apex (5.222,5 µm) suggest that the individual survived postpartum at least 10 and perhaps as many as 15 days. B: Close-up of NL (Urn no. 5817). C: Longitudinal/buccolingual thin-section of a human upper deciduous central incisor (Urn no. 6003) lacking an NL. D: Close-up of thin-section of a human upper deciduous central incisor lacking NL (Urn no. 5880; arrows point to Retzius lines). Scale  = 30 µm.</p>", "links"=>[], "tags"=>["neonatal"], "article_id"=>533034, "categories"=>["Developmental Biology", "Medicine", "Computational Biology"], "users"=>["Jeffrey H. Schwartz", "Frank Houghton", "Roberto Macchiarelli", "Luca Bondioli"], "doi"=>"https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0009177.g002", "stats"=>{"downloads"=>5, "page_views"=>8, "likes"=>0}, "figshare_url"=>"https://figshare.com/articles/_Presence_versus_absence_of_neonatal_line_NL_/533034", "title"=>"Presence versus absence of neonatal line (NL).", "pos_in_sequence"=>0, "defined_type"=>1, "published_date"=>"2010-02-17 00:50:34"}
  • {"files"=>["https://ndownloader.figshare.com/files/862993"], "description"=>"<p>Distribution of Ages-at-Death Based on Analysis of Human Remains, Carthaginian Tophet.</p>", "links"=>[], "tags"=>["ages-at-death", "carthaginian"], "article_id"=>533451, "categories"=>["Developmental Biology", "Medicine", "Computational Biology"], "users"=>["Jeffrey H. Schwartz", "Frank Houghton", "Roberto Macchiarelli", "Luca Bondioli"], "doi"=>"https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0009177.g005", "stats"=>{"downloads"=>2, "page_views"=>9, "likes"=>0}, "figshare_url"=>"https://figshare.com/articles/_Distribution_of_Ages_at_Death_Based_on_Analysis_of_Human_Remains_Carthaginian_Tophet_/533451", "title"=>"Distribution of Ages-at-Death Based on Analysis of Human Remains, Carthaginian Tophet.", "pos_in_sequence"=>0, "defined_type"=>1, "published_date"=>"2010-02-17 00:57:31"}
  • {"files"=>["https://ndownloader.figshare.com/files/863094"], "description"=>"<p>Key: *  =  Basket Number; <sup>a</sup>: mean value.</p>", "links"=>[], "tags"=>["deciduous", "teeth", "carthaginian"], "article_id"=>533549, "categories"=>["Developmental Biology", "Medicine", "Computational Biology"], "users"=>["Jeffrey H. Schwartz", "Frank Houghton", "Roberto Macchiarelli", "Luca Bondioli"], "doi"=>"https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0009177.t002", "stats"=>{"downloads"=>6, "page_views"=>11, "likes"=>0}, "figshare_url"=>"https://figshare.com/articles/_Neonatal_Line_NL_Analysis_of_Human_Deciduous_Teeth_N_8202_8202_50_Carthaginian_Tophet_/533549", "title"=>"Neonatal Line (NL) Analysis of Human Deciduous Teeth (N = 50), Carthaginian Tophet.", "pos_in_sequence"=>0, "defined_type"=>3, "published_date"=>"2010-02-17 00:59:09"}
  • {"files"=>["https://ndownloader.figshare.com/files/863062"], "description"=>"<p>Key: *  =  Basket Number; R  =  Right; L: Left.</p>", "links"=>[], "tags"=>["remains", "greater", "sciatic", "notch", "carthaginian"], "article_id"=>533518, "categories"=>["Developmental Biology", "Medicine", "Computational Biology"], "users"=>["Jeffrey H. Schwartz", "Frank Houghton", "Roberto Macchiarelli", "Luca Bondioli"], "doi"=>"https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0009177.t001", "stats"=>{"downloads"=>1, "page_views"=>2, "likes"=>0}, "figshare_url"=>"https://figshare.com/articles/_Probable_Sex_of_Human_Remains_based_on_Greater_Sciatic_Notch_GSN_width_Carthaginian_Tophet_/533518", "title"=>"Probable Sex of Human Remains [based on Greater Sciatic Notch (GSN) width], Carthaginian Tophet.", "pos_in_sequence"=>0, "defined_type"=>3, "published_date"=>"2010-02-17 00:58:38"}
  • {"files"=>["https://ndownloader.figshare.com/files/863122"], "description"=>"<p>Key: M = H: Morphological and Histological ages similar; M>H: Morphological age advanced compared to Histological age; M</p>", "links"=>[], "tags"=>["ages-at-death", "neonatal", "morphological", "analyses", "deciduous", "carthaginian"], "article_id"=>533576, "categories"=>["Developmental Biology", "Medicine", "Computational Biology"], "users"=>["Jeffrey H. Schwartz", "Frank Houghton", "Roberto Macchiarelli", "Luca Bondioli"], "doi"=>"https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0009177.t003", "stats"=>{"downloads"=>1, "page_views"=>12, "likes"=>0}, "figshare_url"=>"https://figshare.com/articles/_Comparison_of_Ages_at_Death_Determined_by_Neonatal_Line_Histological_H_and_Morphological_M_Analyses_of_Human_Deciduous_Teeth_Carthaginian_Tophet_/533576", "title"=>"Comparison of Ages-at-Death Determined by Neonatal Line [Histological (H)] and Morphological (M) Analyses of Human Deciduous Teeth, Carthaginian Tophet.", "pos_in_sequence"=>0, "defined_type"=>3, "published_date"=>"2010-02-17 00:59:36"}
  • {"files"=>["https://ndownloader.figshare.com/files/862356"], "description"=>"<p>A: Map of Western Mediterranean showing location and landmarks of Carthage. B: In order to excavate the Tophet, water had to be continually pumped out of the site (arrows point to urns). C: Broken urn revealing calcined bones and sediment that had seeped in as the water table rose. D: Stelae with different amounts of detail (e.g. one bears an image of an urn and another an inscription).</p>", "links"=>[], "tags"=>["carthage", "excavation", "objects"], "article_id"=>532819, "categories"=>["Developmental Biology", "Medicine", "Computational Biology"], "users"=>["Jeffrey H. Schwartz", "Frank Houghton", "Roberto Macchiarelli", "Luca Bondioli"], "doi"=>"https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0009177.g001", "stats"=>{"downloads"=>0, "page_views"=>9, "likes"=>0}, "figshare_url"=>"https://figshare.com/articles/_Location_of_Carthage_and_excavation_of_including_objects_associated_with_the_Tophet_/532819", "title"=>"Location of Carthage and excavation of, including objects associated with, the Tophet.", "pos_in_sequence"=>0, "defined_type"=>1, "published_date"=>"2010-02-17 00:46:59"}
  • {"files"=>["https://ndownloader.figshare.com/files/428312", "https://ndownloader.figshare.com/files/428318", "https://ndownloader.figshare.com/files/428334", "https://ndownloader.figshare.com/files/428344"], "description"=>"<div><p>Two types of cemeteries occur at Punic Carthage and other Carthaginian settlements: one centrally situated housing the remains of older children through adults, and another at the periphery of the settlement (the “Tophet”) yielding small urns containing the cremated skeletal remains of very young animals and humans, sometimes comingled. Although the absence of the youngest humans at the primary cemeteries is unusual and worthy of discussion, debate has focused on the significance of Tophets, especially at Carthage, as burial grounds for the young. One interpretation, based on two supposed eye-witness reports of large-scale Carthaginian infant sacrifice [Kleitarchos (3<sup>rd</sup> c. BCE) and Diodorus Siculus (1<sup>st</sup> c. BCE)], a particular translation of inscriptions on some burial monuments, and the argument that if the animals had been sacrificed so too were the humans, is that Tophets represent burial grounds reserved for sacrificial victims. An alternative hypothesis acknowledges that while the Carthaginians may have occasionally sacrificed humans, as did their contemporaries, the extreme youth of Tophet individuals suggests these cemeteries were not only for the sacrificed, but also for the very young, however they died. Here we present the first rigorous analysis of the largest sample of cremated human skeletal remains (348 burial urns, N = 540 individuals) from the Carthaginian Tophet based on tooth formation, enamel histology, cranial and postcranial metrics, and the potential effects of heat-induced bone shrinkage. Most of the sample fell within the period prenatal to 5-to-6 postnatal months, with a significant presence of prenates. Rather than indicating sacrifice as the agent of death, this age distribution is consistent with modern-day data on perinatal mortality, which at Carthage would also have been exacerbated by numerous diseases common in other major cities, such as Rome and Pompeii. Our diverse approaches to analyzing the cremated human remains from Carthage strongly support the conclusion that Tophets were cemeteries for those who died shortly before or after birth, regardless of the cause.</p></div>", "links"=>[], "tags"=>["skeletal", "remains", "punic", "carthage", "systematic", "infants"], "article_id"=>144574, "categories"=>["Developmental Biology", "Medicine", "Biological Sciences"], "users"=>["Jeffrey H. Schwartz", "Frank Houghton", "Roberto Macchiarelli", "Luca Bondioli"], "doi"=>["https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0009177.s001", "https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0009177.s002", "https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0009177.s003", "https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0009177.s004"], "stats"=>{"downloads"=>4, "page_views"=>12, "likes"=>0}, "figshare_url"=>"https://figshare.com/articles/Skeletal_Remains_from_Punic_Carthage_Do_Not_Support_Systematic_Sacrifice_of_Infants/144574", "title"=>"Skeletal Remains from Punic Carthage Do Not Support Systematic Sacrifice of Infants", "pos_in_sequence"=>0, "defined_type"=>4, "published_date"=>"2010-02-17 01:16:14"}

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