Pratiques funéraires, squelettes et inégalités sociales. Étude d’un échantillon des élites bretonnes à l’Époque moderne

Abstract : Objectives: Among the past populations, the search for health-related inequalities (food, stress, etc.) is customarily debated. Nonetheless, it is often limited by methodological and preservation issues. The present dissertation tackles this matter thanks to the study of a Modern population by comparing biological and historical data. The goal being to estimate likeness or divergence in the sample and to suggest a methodology. Material and methods: A Modern series from the Jacobins’ convent in Rennes (Brittany) was used here, for which numerous contextual data were recorded. According to the location of their tomb in the convent, the subjects can be linked to various communities (aristocrats, clergymen, commoners). After spreading the subjects in different chronological phases following a heuristic archaeological approach, groups were reconstituted on the basis of socio-economical postulates. Cultural (funerary practices) as well as biological variations between the samples were sought for. A large anthropological and paleoepidemiological study was thus undergone, for which isotopic markers were also taken into account (some of them being innovative). Results and discussion: According to the settings that were used, significant disparities among the different groups and periods can be noticed and related to historical events or social inequalities. Nevertheless, for many markers, it is more a gradient than an absolute difference that can be observed. On the one hand, it tackles the issue of the use of those markers without any historical data which could orient the discussion. On the other hand, it questions sometimes not so visible inequalities between certain groups of subjects during the Ancien Régime in Brittany. Conclusion: For populations for which historical data would be lacking, the only solution to test specific markers would be to formulate strong hypotheses which would enable researchers to exploit them in terms of inequalities –if not social ones at least related to health disparities generally speaking.
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Rozenn Colleter. Pratiques funéraires, squelettes et inégalités sociales. Étude d’un échantillon des élites bretonnes à l’Époque moderne. Anthropologie biologique. Université Paul Sabatier - Toulouse III, 2018. Français. ⟨tel-02088163⟩

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