SAINT ATTINIA AND SAINT GRECINIANA: OSTEOARCHAEOLOGY OF TWO PALEOCHRISTIAN SAINTS FROM VOLTERRA (CENTRAL ITALY)

Valentina Giuffra, Angelica Vitiello, Antonio Fornaciari

Abstract


The skeletal remains of Saints Attinia and Greciniana are preserved in a glass box in the Cathedral of Volterra. According to the tradition the two Saints suffered martyrdom by spear and sword around 303 AD, at the time of the Diocletian persecution of Christians. The Division of Paleopathology of the University of Pisa performed an anthropological and paleopathological examination of the skeletal remains attributed to Attinia and Greciniana, which in the Modern Age were arranged in an artistic manner, with several flower decorations and with the long bones tied together. The study demonstrated that the remains belonged respectively to a female individual aged 25-30 years and to a mature female aged 50-55 years, and that the two women showed no anthropological evidences of childbirth. No alterations were observed, except for dental pathologies in both skeletons and degenerative arthritic changes in Saint Greciniana. The bones showed signs of extensive past restorative interventions.

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