The Lombards: A Framework for Integrating History, Archaeology, and Genomics

Saturday, January 7, 2017: 3:30 PM
Mile High Ballroom 3A (Colorado Convention Center)
Krishna Veeramah, State University of New York at Stony Brook
Between the fifth and seventh centuries Western Europe experienced the disappearance of the Roman Empire and along with it a fundamental transformation of economic, social, and cultural patterns. Migrating barbarian groups are thought to have played an important role in this transformation and scholars have long debated their social structures. The migration of the Lombards from Pannonia (what is now Western Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Eastern Austria) into Italy in 568 C.E. represents one of the most historically documented migrations and one for which there is a relative abundance of putative archaeological material. Recent advances in our ability to interrogate DNA from ancient material potentially offers a third form of information with regard to the level of biological relatedness amongst people from this period. To this end a group of historians, archaeologists and geneticists has been formed with a focus on improving our understanding of the social structure and proposed migrations of the Lombards. I will discuss the nature of this collaboration, which emphasizes a true multidisciplinary framework, as well as present results generated as part of the project thus far.
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