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Bones of ComplexityBioarchaeological Case Studies of Social Organization and Skeletal Biology$
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Haagen D. Klaus, Amanda R. Harvey, and Mark N. Cohen

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062235

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062235.001.0001

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Spytihněv I (CE 875–915), Duke of Bohemia

Spytihněv I (CE 875–915), Duke of Bohemia

An Osteobiographic Perspective on Social Status and Stature in the Emerging Czech State

(p.82) 4 Spytihněv I (CE 875–915), Duke of Bohemia
Bones of Complexity

Marshall Joseph Becker

University Press of Florida

Becker applies a life history (or osteobiographic) approach in the study of the remains of individuals who have been identified as Prince Spytihn?v, Duke of Bohemia, and his wife. Specifically, Becker seeks to learn how the confluence of diet and royal social status in the 9th century A.D. early Czech state affected these two elite people’s growth process and physical activity. This contextually rich work tests the notion that terminal adult stature and skeletal robusticity may have embodied lives of privilege. The data reveal that while Spytihn?v and his wife were notably more robust than people of the lower social rank, their stature falls within the range of all other males and females from this population. Stature variation may not always hold a one-to-one correlation with social rank, especially considering individual variation and the biocultural vagaries of the early Czech state. The bioarchaeology of such “emergent elites” helps shed light on the early states of late first millennium Europe.

Keywords:   Bohemia, terminal adult stature, skeletal robusticity, Europe, nutrition

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