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Mass military graves: the anthropologist’s view
12 October 2014
19 June 2017
The Archaeology of Violence
International colloquium organized by Inrap and the Museum of Louvre-Lens.
October 2, 3 and 4, 2104 at La Scène du Louvre-Lens
The archaeology of violence: wartime violence, mass violence
by Michel Signoli, ADES AMU-EFS-CNRS, Marseille
The archaeological-anthropological or anthropological-forensic (depending on the chronological context) approach to mass graves connected to a military episode reveals two types of traces: traumatic pathologies linked to the death of individuals, and practices, usually reduced to a minimum, that took place during burial. The former identify the causes of death, while the latter reveal the consideration shown to the fallen friend or foe. This presentation will focus on sites from the First Empire and the First World War.
Michel Signoli Research Director at the CNRS, UMR 7268 ADES AMU-EFS-CNRS My research primarily involves multiple simultaneous graves in relation to epidemics or recent conflicts (18th-20th century). The work involved over 3,000 men of the Grand Army who died in Vilnius in December 1812 and French, German, Australian and British soldiers killed during the First World War. Research issues involving archaeological anthropology (treatment of the body, funerary practices, etc.) and anthropological-forensic objectives participate in this type of approach (identification, cause of death, etc.).
- SIGNOLI M., VETTE T., DUTOUR O., ARDAGNA Y. (2008) - Les Oubliés De La Retraite De Russie ; Vilna 1812-Vilnius 2002, Librairie Historique F. Teissedre, Paris, 178 p.
- BUCHET L., RIGEADE C., SEGUY I., SIGNOLI M. (2009) - Vers une anthropologie des catastrophes, Actes des 9e journées d'anthropologie de Valbonne, Éditions APDCA & INED, 553 p.
- SIGNOLI M., De VEDRINES G. (2010) - Burials Related to Recent Military Conflicts: Case Studies from France, in Archaeological Human Remains and Legislation : An International Guide to Laws and Practice in the Excavation and Treatment of Archaeological Human Remains (N. Marquez Grant and L. FIBIGER editors), Publisher: Routledge, 624 p.
- LAGRANGE F., ROBBE E., SIGNOLI M., VETTE T. (2012) - Les Ombres de l'Empire : approches anthropologiques, archéologiques et historiques de la Grande Armée. Cahiers d'études et de recherches du Musée de l'Armée, hors-série n°5, 466 p.