A Byzantine tomb from Khirbat Yajuz, Jordan

Abdulla Al-Shorman


The tomb of Khirbit Yajuz, located near the capital city of Amman, and the recovered skeletons were studied to reconstruct the socio-biological state of the inhabitants during the Byzantine period. The methods of the study have relied on the drawings of the tomb as well as the archaeological data, and on the scored pathological lesions from the skeletal material, which reflects health and diet. The recovered skeletal material represents 37 individuals who were genetically affiliated. Most of the examined skeletons suffered a very high frequency of pathological lesions. The examined teeth (no. 270) show 13.3% of caries and moderate dental wear reflecting more carbohydrate consumption. Loose and intact first lower molars demonstrate buccal oblique wear probably caused by using teeth as tools. The results pointed to social stratification that weakened toward the end of the site occupation, which probably triggered tomb reuse.

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