Complémentarité et discordances entre sources textuelles et sources archéo-anthropologiques en contexte de crises de mortalité par épidémie. Études de cas

Revue Archéologique du Centre de la France. 2009;47

 

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Journal Title: Revue Archéologique du Centre de la France

ISSN: 0220-6617 (Print); 1951-6207 (Online)

Publisher: Fédération pour l'Edition de la Revue Archéologique du Centre de la France

LCC Subject Category: Auxiliary sciences of history: Archaeology

Country of publisher: France

Language of fulltext: French

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AUTHORS

Dominique Castex
Patrice Georges
Philippe Blanchard

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Time From Submission to Publication: 12 weeks

 

Abstract | Full Text

Archaeological and textual sources have long been considered complementary although they often appear contradictory. Nowadays the dependence of archaeology on written sources within historical periods is steadily being replaced by a different concept of interdisciplinarity : rather than seeking to validate one source by another, the different disciplines form a common research project so as to make efficient use conjointly of all available data and allow discussion of the results. This procedure is indispensable in all analyses of historical sites and is fundamental in the interpretation of mortality crises of the past due to epidemics. It underlies recent interdisciplinary studies linked to archaeological discoveries in Berry (France) like Bourges (Cher) and Issoudun (Indre) and archive prospections like Lignières-en-Berry (Cher). Because of their originality we wish to present these examples and to compare them with the other victims' sites of epidemics abroad (Saint Benoît from Prague to Czech Republic and Venosa in Italy), sites among which the quantity and the quality of the documentation allowed a good exploitation and already supplied first results with terms of interpretation. Without aspiring to the exhaustive treatment of every site, some of which are still in the course of study, our comment is more simply to propose a reflection on some aspects of the archaeology of the epidemics, to deliver certain number of questionings and to discuss the feasibility of the syntheses of the written and archaeological sources. Our results already allow us to bring new light to the history of epidemics; on one hand they highlight aspects very different from those generally admitted in context of crises of mortality ( mastered management of corpses, integration of the deaths by epidemic, etc.), on the other hand, they commit us to be particularly watchful as for the origin of the epidemics proposed by certain written sources.