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The last battle of Anne of Brittany: Solving mass grave through an interdisciplinary approach (paleopathology, biological anthropology, history, multiple isotopes and radiocarbon dating)

Abstract : Mass graves are usually key historical markers with strong incentive for archeological investigations. The identification of individuals buried in mass graves has long benefitted from traditional historical, archaeological, anthropological and paleopathological techniques. The addition of novel methods including genetic, genomic and isotopic geochemistry have renewed interest in solving unidentified mass graves. In this study, we demonstrate that the combined use of these techniques allows the identification of the individuals found in two Breton historical mass graves, where one method alone would not have revealed the importance of this discovery. The skeletons likely belong to soldiers from the two enemy armies who fought during a major event of Breton history: the siege of Rennes in 1491, which ended by the wedding of the Duchess of Brittany with the King of France and signaled the end of the independence of the region. Our study highlights the value of interdisciplinary approaches with a particular emphasis on increasingly accurate isotopic markers. The development of the sulfur isoscape and testing of the triple isotope geographic assignment are detailed in a companion paper [13].
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03331776
Contributor : Laurent Jonchère <>
Submitted on : Thursday, September 2, 2021 - 10:20:37 AM
Last modification on : Friday, September 3, 2021 - 11:05:17 AM

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Rozenn Colleter, Clément P. Bataille, Henri Dabernat, Daniel Pichot, Philippe Hamon, et al.. The last battle of Anne of Brittany: Solving mass grave through an interdisciplinary approach (paleopathology, biological anthropology, history, multiple isotopes and radiocarbon dating). PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2021, 16 (5), pp.e0248086. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0248086⟩. ⟨hal-03331776⟩

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