A Possible Witness to the Sixth Century Slavic Invasion of Greece from the Stadium Tunnel at Ancient Nemea

  • Sandra Garvie-Lok


Human remains recovered from the stadium tunnel at Ancient Nemea offer a window into one life in the time of the sixth-century CE Slavic invasion of the Greek Peloponessos. The remains likely represent a middle-aged male and show a cranial injury similar to conflict-related wounds seen in some medieval skeletal populations. The wound is well-healed and was inflicted some time before death. Lesions elsewhere on the skeleton reflect an active life involving hard physical work. This man’s injury and the unique find context of his remains may reflect the unsettled conditions of late sixthcentury Greece.


Bioarchaeology Osteobiography Late antiquity Skeletal trauma 



My deepest thanks go to Dr. Stephen Miller for his kind invitation to work with the remains from the tunnel and his fascinating descriptions of the times surrounding the tunnel skeleton’s last days. I am also grateful to Dr. Kostis Kourelis for his invitation to contribute to the abandonment colloquium. The initial work behind this report was carried out while I was supported by the Weiner Laboratory of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens through the J. Lawrence Angel Fellowship, and I thank that institution for its generous support.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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