‘New Life the Dead Receive’:
The Relationship Between Human Remains and the Cultural Record for Byzantine St. Stephen’s
 
 

Susan Guise Sheridan, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology,
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556

  Introduction

Skeletal remains offer a unique perspective on ancient life because they provide a composite record of humans as biological entities within a cultural and environmental setting, demonstrating the degree to which an individual has adapted to his or her environment. Physical anthropologists thus "look for life in patterns of death," synthesizing biology and culture into a framework for viewing the past.

The purpose of the present investigation was to analyze the human remains located in the burial crypts of L'École Biblique et Archéologique Française/Couvent Saint-Étienne through the lens of their cultural/historical context. This paper represents a component of a larger study incorporating paradigms from anthropology, theology, history, and biology -- drawing upon natural, written, and symbolic material to forge a methodology for interdisciplinary investigation and discourse. Using biological information gleaned from skeletal remains, abundant archaeological evidence, and the rich historical record available for monasteries of the Byzantine period, this project synthesizes perspectives from the humanities and natural sciences into a biocultural framework for understanding life in antiquity.
 

The Biocultural Model

Biocultural analysis integrates information from both the biological and the cultural records of a people. This approach has allowed a variety of disciplines to address questions related to political/economic change, social stratification, differential access to limited resources, childhood health and adaptability, occupational stress, demographic shifts, and quality of life issues such as longevity and health status. Just as patterns of disease effecting the human ‘being’ can not be divorced from the cultural context in which s/he exists - the rituals and values, art and technology, symbol and myth of a people can not be fully understood without an appreciation for the biological constraints on its individuals.

An excellent discussion of the relationship between biology and culture was provided by Goodman, detailing the use of health and illness patterns for understanding past societies. He built a complex biocultural dynamic showing the interplay between environment, cultural mechanisms, host resistance factors, physiological effects, and their combined impact on a population’s adaptation. In a feedback loop of interaction, he described the limiting effects of the environment on resources such as food and water, and discussed the cultural buffering mechanisms (such as subsistence and shelter) used to extract these necessary commodities from the natural surroundings. He showed how individual adaptation extends to the population level, "by decreasing work capacity, decreasing fertility, increasing morbidity and mortality, and causing secondary disruptions to the social, political, and economic structure of a community." As such, the biological constraints of health have a direct impact on the social fabric. When such evidence is merged with historical and/or archaeological records for a population, a powerful tool for understanding life in the past becomes available, freed from many of the limitations imposed by one perspective applied in isolation.

As illustrated in Figure 1, the biocultural model for Byzantine St. Stephen’s emerges from the interaction of data culled from a variety of sources. In a retrospective/prospective manner, each constituent provides evidence for the larger biocultural interpretation, both drawing from and contributing to the theory and interpretation of the others. Each component is incomplete -- yet, incomplete in complementary ways.

In antiquity, biological information is ‘captured’ in the bones of the ancient inhabitants. Analysis of demography, diet, and disease at Byzantine St. Stephen’s were possible using the abundant, well-preserved skeletal remains buried at the site. In life, bone is a dynamic tissue which affords the body support, leverage, protection and storage, and therein provides a composite record of lifetime metabolic interactions. In this manner, "the same features that make [bone] resistant to degradation…make it an excellent repository of past biological activity." Yet, specific interpretation is often difficult, given the limited ways bone can respond to physiological stressors. When ‘insulted,’ bone is either deposited or resorbed — a relatively simple reaction that is often formidable to diagnose differentially.

Thus, the historical and archaeological records provide an aid in assessment. For St. Stephen’s, the cultural record has been gleaned from historical documents and a wealth of archaeological information available for this monastic compound and communities from the surrounding region. Pilgrimage and liturgical records, art and iconography, legal and medical documents, material culture, and a variety of dating methods have all contributed to our understanding of the cultural context, and so, to the biocultural setting.

In this manner, the cultural account aids in interpretation of questions biological, and conversely, the skeletal ‘catalog’ provides evidence to spark inquiry previously undeveloped in the textual and material archives. Evidence for this symbiotic exchange will be detailed in the remainder of this paper.

A description of the cultural/historical setting using both written and archaeological information will set the stage for interpretation of the biological material. The skeletal collection, temporal placement of the remains, age and sex profiles, stature reconstruction, and comparison to collections from the region will be surveyed. The conclusions outline the findings of this segment of the overall St. Stephen’s biocultural project, and detail areas of future investigation.

Taken in tandem, the synthesis of the written and biological records coalesce to convey a fuller picture of life in this Byzantine monastery. The St. Stephen's collection provides a natural experiment for the applicability of the biocultural method to a variety of disciplines, illustrating the power of this approach for synthesizing information from the humanities, natural, and social sciences.
 

The Cultural Record

The study population was located in the crypt complex under a modern Dominican monastery in Jerusalem, the Couvent Saint-Étienne, which houses the renowned biblical institute L'École Biblique et Archéologique Française. During the Byzantine period, this site played an important role in the early church and therefore appears in several writings from the era. In addition, the inhabitants practiced a regimented daily activity pattern with clear historical documentation. When this historical information is added to the skeletal data, an enticing picture of life in an ancient Jerusalem monastery emerges.

St. Étienne Crypt Complex: The burial caves are located on the slope of the hill behind the Garden Tomb. The St. Stephen’s cave complex (figure 2) houses the commingled remains of hundreds of individuals. According to Barkay and Kloner the burial caves were originally hewn during First Temple times (8th or 7th century BC), when this region of Jerusalem was heavily used as the main necropolis. Collateral evidence for the First Temple period date is offered by the loci of Iron-age pottery found in the adjoining Garden Tomb. Kloner has further postulated that this complex, chambers 6 and 7 in particular, may have been the tombs of the later kings of Judah.

The chambers were designed with 3 benches carved out of a cave wall upon which bodies were laid to rest. Beneath the benches were hollowed caverns, known as repositories, for the bones of decomposed individuals. When a bench was needed for a new person, bones and burial goods were placed in the repositories below. Detailed descriptions of these and similar tombs abound, often citing this complex as the ‘type’ specimen for Iron Age II tomb structure.

The St. Stephen’s cave complex was again regularly utilized during the Byzantine period (5th and 6th centuries AD) by a large monastic community when significant renovations to the earlier tombs took place, possibly displacing the ancient burials and material culture. Reuse of ancient tombs was a common occurrence, "serving Jerusalemites of different religions during each period."

Historical Significance: The Byzantine church of St. Stephen's was the last church constructed by Empress Eudocia during an era of "great expansion in ecclesiastical construction in and around Jerusalem". Eudocia was known for her patronage to building projects in Jerusalem, contributing generously to the construction of churches, hospitals, and orphanages throughout the city. For her munificence, she was dubbed ‘the New Helen’, a benefactress to rival Constantine or Justinian, and ranked by Hirschfeld as "one of the greatest builders in the history of the land."

Among Eudocia’s most notable structures was the Basilica of St. Stephen’s, where the protomartyr’s remains were proported to be buried. Tradition holds that construction of the site began between AD 431 and 438 in cooperation with Bishop Juvenal, and was dedicated in May 439 when Cyril of Alexander brought the bones of St. Stephen to be interred in Eudocia’s church. After renovation of the basilica and construction of a large walled monastery, the site was consecrated in AD 460, only months before the Empress’ death. Eudocia and later her granddaughter of the same name, were buried in chambers adjacent to Stephen’s.

The dimensions of this Byzantine basilica were "the largest of all church structures in or around Jerusalem, larger even than the precincts of the Golgotha complex" for almost 100 years. Cyril of Scythopolis referred to the compound as a ‘diocese’ due to its size, and the church historian Evagrius remarked on both its size and beauty. The grounds were large enough to house the 10,000 monks who gathered there in 516 to protest the exile of Elias, and the monophysite emperor Anastasius' opposition to the Council of Chalcedon.

By the middle of the 5th century, Jerusalem was at a peak population size not seen since Herodian times. Nevertheless, Cyril’s estimate of a gathering of 10,000 is quite likely an exaggerated claim to enhance the magnitude of St. Stephen’s or the gathering (or both). Or perhaps it symbolizes a number too high to count, a generic term of ‘grandeur’ rather than an actual census. Regardless, Hirschfeld has estimated the entire Judean monastic community at about 3,000 for this period. Cyril’s account does however, illustrate the relative size of the compound in comparison to its regional counterparts. It also depicts the active interaction between the desert and city monks of Palestine, and the comfort with which the desert-dwellers moved in the urban milieu. Furthermore, the political-religious dynamic reflected in this portrayal shows the integration of church and state in the Byzantine east.

St. Stephen’s monastery was believed destroyed in the early part of the 7th century, although according to Lagrange, St. Stephen’s was not mentioned in accounts of the Persian destruction of Jerusalem nor cited as a ruin in writings after AD 650. By AD 808, a "modest oratory" which housed two presbyters and 14 ‘lepers’ was located at the site. The chapel was destroyed in the early 12th century, but stables at the site were preserved by the Knights Hospitallers, which later Christians converted into a hospice for pilgrims visiting Jerusalem. In 1884 the Dominican order purchased a portion of the former Byzantine compound and subsequent excavations uncovered the burial complex.

The Biological Record

Community Composition:To date, over 15,000 bones and fragments have been exhumed from repository 6 in the St. Stephen’s cave complex. This repository was the primary place of burial for the human remains, given the degree of preservation and large number of small, friable bone elements found in situ. Very delicate fragments were exhumed, including the hyoid, sesimoid bones, distal phalanges, calcified thyroid cartilage, and even ear ossicles. If these bones were subsequently transported to the repository for secondary burial, such delicate items would have quite likely been lost or destroyed in transport. It is highly probable given the large number of such bones, that the remains were only moved from the burial bench above to the repository below.

The remains in repository 6 represented at least 109 adults and 58 children. Table 1 compares each skeletal element used for a calculation of the minimum number of individuals (MNI) in the adult collection. The subadult sample is quite large, and intensive analysis of this segment of the community is still in progress. Thus, this paper will deal only with the adult remains.

The temporal bone was selected from the skull because the petrous portion of the bone tends to preserve well in the depositional context. Seventy-seven right and 76 left temporal portions were found in this collection.

For the upper limb, the humerus, radius and ulna were included in the MNI calculation. Thirty-five left and 38 right proximal humerii segments were counted, while 93 left and 72 right distal portions were found. Given the greater density of bone at the distal end of the humerus, it is not surprising that almost three times as many of these segments survived compared to the more cancellous (‘spongy’) proximal end.

In the forearm, 64 left and 62 right proximal radii, and 51 left and 46 right distal radii were included in the MNI calculation. For the ulna there were 86 left and 81 right proximal ulnae, 35 left and 47 right distal segments. The proximal end of the ulna, with the considerably more robust olecrenon process, tends to be better preserved in burial and is represented in this collection by almost twice the number of segments when contrasted with the gracile distal portions.

The lower limb was represented by the femur, calcaneous, and talus. One hundred left and 93 right proximal ends, and 109 left and 88 right distal femora were preserved. The femur is a major weight-bearing bone in bipeds, thus it is not surprising that this robust support structure survived well in the depositional context.

The entire calcaneous and talus, the two largest bones of the foot comprising the heel and ankle respectively, were utilized in the MNI count. There were 96 right tali, 91 left, and a comparable number of calcanei at 103 and 104 respectively. These are both rather robust bones, and therefore only intact specimens were utilized for the collection-size estimate.

The two tarsal (foot) bone counts corroborated the femoral data, thus giving credence to final MNI estimate of at least 109 adults in this community. It is important to note that given the volume of fragments remaining for each grouping that did not strictly conform to the above definitions, the number of adult individuals buried in this repository is quite likely higher.

Temporal Placement The degree of preservation of the human skeletal material was excellent, although commingled. Several nearly intact crania were exhumed, as were the remains of newborn children.Some non-human bones (n=23) were also recovered from the repositoryranging in size from rodents to camels.

The quality of bone mineral preservation was excellent. Associated grave goods, fluoride analysis, radiocarbon dating of a subsample of bones, and consistency of homologous (left/right) skeletal elements were congruent with a discrete group of individuals dating to the Byzantine occupation (mid 5th through early 7th C).

Numerous artifacts (n=254) were uncovered in the repository mixed with the skeletal remains. Found among the bones were many fragments of oil lamps, tessera, a small metal cross, an iron nail, half a glass bracelet, several glass fragments, and many broken vessel sherds. A preliminary survey has dated the material to the late Roman through early Islamic period, with the vast majority of the artifacts falling within the Byzantine period.

With the number of individuals estimated, and the Byzantine date verified, demography and health patterns were next explored in-depth. Analysis of age, sex, and stature thus comprised the biological portion of the integrative biocultural model discussed in this paper.

Age Determination: The most fundamental measure of adaptation in any human community is survival. For ancient populations, inferences are made about survival from patterns of morbidity and mortality. The success of an individual's 'adjustment', both social and biological, is reflected in their ability to survive and reproduce. An age profile of the skeletal collection is thus an important component for understanding community composition.

During the period of growth and development, age estimation is usually quite precise; however, with the cessation of growth and eruption of the permanent dentition, assessment of age becomes more difficult, relying on evidence of degenerative processes. Nevertheless, with multiple sites of analysis available for a single individual, determination of age-at-death using intersecting lines of evidence can be highly accurate for adults. For this collection, an age profile was established using two aspects of pelvic morphology and consistency of results compared across the group.

Public Symphysis: Morphological changes of the articular surfaces of the innominate provided the best postcranial age indicators for the St. Stephen’s adults. Variation in the face of the pubic symphysis, the anterior-most point of articulation between the two innominates in the pelvic girdle, is a common region analyzed for age determination (Figure 3a). Todd outlined a 10-stage method for assessing this surface, based on a large sample of male innominates. Changes in the symphyseal surface over time proceed in a predictable pattern from a heavily contoured face, to one delimited by a rim in the mid 30s, to a surface marked by increasing porosity after 40 years. Analysis by Meindl and coworkers has shown the Todd method to be the most accurate of the pubic symphyseal methods available.

Pubic symphysis ages for all specimens (n=54) are listed in Table 2, with the specific Todd age categories expanded to decades in the final column of the table. Several authors have argued the importance of using broad age categories in paleodemographic contexts, stating the increased accuracy in analysis given the limits of adult age estimation.

No significant difference was found between the left and right pubic symphyses (p=0.51) using the Kolmogorov-Smirnov two sample test. Thus, to avoid possible duplication of individuals,only the right innominate (n=27) was used for statistical analyses. The median age for the adults was decade 4 or 30-39 years, with the largest number of individuals falling in the 6th (50+ years) decade. The Todd method can not differentiate age after 50 years, thus numerous older individuals were merged by default in this encompassing age category.

Auricular Surface: The site of articulation of the innominate with the sacrum, known as the auricular surface (see figure 3b), was the second pelvic age indicator employed. The method was developed by Lovejoy and co-workers, using a portion of the innominate often better-preserved in the depositional context than the pubic symphysis. This was certainly true for the St. Stephen’s collection, where 87 auricular surfaces versus 54 pubic symphyses were found. In a system reminiscent of Todd’s pubic symphysis method, the auricular surface technique compares changes in billowing, granulation, porosity, and transverse organization on the face of the innominate’s articulation with the sacrum. It also permits a bit more finesse at aging older individuals, with 50-60 year and 60+ year age categories.

Table 3 reflects auricular surface ages for all specimens (n=87). Again, no significant difference (p=0.30) was found between the left and right innominates. Thus, for consistency of comparison to the pubic symphysis data, the right side (n=41) was selected for statistical comparison. As was true of the pubic symphysis, the median age category was the 4th decade (30-39 years), though the highest percentage of individuals clustered in the 5th (40-49 year) age group.

Comparison of the percentage of individuals in each age category for the two features allowed a test of agreement between methods. Figure 4 illustrates the age profiles superimposed. No significant difference was found between the two methods using the right innominates (p=0.28).

In addition, a small subset of specimens (n=15) permitted direct comparison of the two innominate aging methods in the same person (table 4). These specimens were sufficiently intact to preserve both articular aspects. By comparing the ages derived independently with each method, a test of aging accuracy was possible using Matched Pairs Students’ t-test (figure 5). No significant difference was found between the methods using the right innominates (df=8; p=0.28).

Age Estimation Summary: The two aging methods utilized in this analysis did not produce statistically significant differences in age profiles. Both demonstrated a median age for the collection of 30-39 years with peaks in the later age groups. The pubic symphysis method showed a high percentage of individuals at 50+ years, while the auricular surface method peaked at 40-49 years.

This profile demonstrated longevity in the Byzantine St. Stephen’s community, although it should be noted that one of the difficulties of paleodemographic analysis is the tendency to truncate age groups for older members of a population. While the auricular surface allows greater sensitivity than the pubic symphysis for assessing the 50+ age range, exclusion of older adults is still problematic. Some degree of truncation may have occurred for the St. Stephen’s collection given the disarticulated nature of the remains, and the inability to test for age across multiple bones from the same individual. If indeed many monks of antiquity lived to venerable ages as some patristic literature suggests, then such truncation may introduce slight error in the reconstruction of life at St. Stephen’s. However, Van Gerven and Armelagos have argued that the ‘over 55’ age category usually constitutes between 1 and 10% of a collection, thus difficulties in assessing this age group introduce little statistical error in an overall age profile.

Given the potential for increased exposure to disease stress in an urban setting, the apparently plentiful but remedial medical abilities of the time, and documented life spans for Homo sapiens (temporally and cross-culturally), the St. Stephen’s demographic profile quite likely represents the average adult life-span of the community. These results tend to support the assertion by many scholars that accounts of extreme longevity in some patristic literature are anecdotal -- either representing anomalies in life expectancy for the period or exaggerated claims to enhance the 'stature' of august individuals.

Future analysis of dental attrition, cranial suture closure, and bone histology aging methods will contribute supplementary biological evidence for age determination of this community. In addition, continued synthesis of the texts describing life at this site and the region will facilitate further assessment of expected lifespan for Byzantine St. Stephen’s.

Sex Determination: Accuracy in sex determination for non-human primates approaches 100% given the significant degree of sexual dimorphism present in our close relatives. Although differences in human male/female skeletal anatomy is not nearly as marked, when multiple indicators are used, accuracy in determination approaches 90 percent.

Standard osteological aspects of the cranium, appendicular skeleton, and pelvis were employed in the determination of adult sex. Table 5 lists some of the features used for the St. Stephen’s collection, with a brief definition of male/female differences for each landmark. Although there is a clear range of overlap between the sexes for many measures, the trend for Homo sapiens is a pattern of greater robusticity in males compared to females.

Skull: Beginning with the cranium, robusticity of the browridge, mastoid process, nuchal crest, temporal lines, and mandible were employed. While the female skull retains gracile attributes seen in the pre-pubescent skull, the male cranium becomes markedly rougher in adulthood at the sites of muscle attachment. Although distinct, the ability to quantify measures of the skull for sex determination has met with limited success. Hence, the non-metric characteristics of the cranium were more heavily weighted for this phase of the analysis. The results for each feature, analyzed independently for the disarticulated remains, showed considerable consistency as seen in Table 6. The five features of the skull demonstrated a 95% male ratio. In addition, the 6 intact cranium from this collection also showed distinctively male attributes for all features, in a manner where more than one indicator could be tested per individual.

Long Bones: In the postcranial skeleton, differences in the diameter of the humeral head, femoral head, and bicondylar breadth were used for sex determination, and sites of attachment for the deltoid and hamstring muscles were analyzed for degree of robusticity. Metric analyses consistently provided a lower ratio of males to females when compared to their non-metric counterparts. For example, humeral head diameter indicated a 71% male presence in contrast to the 97% ratio found for deltoid tuberosity robusticity.A similar pattern was found in the femur, with ratios of 63% and 68% using femoral head diameter and biocondylar breadth (respectively), in contrast to linea aspera robusticity which yielded 96% males. Krogman succinctly addressed this problem at the beginning of his chapter on sex determination when he stated "here is the problem of subjectivity versus objectivity, of description versus measurement, of ‘experience’ versus statistical ‘standardization.’ Meindl and coworkers later analyzed metric versus non-metric observation and found no significant difference in accuracy "so long as care and skill [were] employed".

As mentioned in the age determination analysis, the disarticulated and commingled nature of the collection precluded analysis of multiple measures of sex in a single individual. Also, the number of broken long bones further complicated analysis by making it difficult to analyze several measures (such as femoral head diameter and bicondylar breadth) in the same bone. For each of the metric methods employed, it should be noted that the number of indeterminate specimens which preserved the requisite characteristics were quite high. For the humeral head, the indeterminate number equaled the number of males (n=27), and was more than double the number of females (n=11). For the femoral condyles, the indeterminate specimens were quite high (n=33) compared to the male (n=58) and female (n=27) counts.

Innominates: Factors contributing to the overall shape of the pelvis are constrained by both the demands of bipedal locomotion, as well as those for perpetuating the species. This region of the skeleton accordingly shows considerable sexual dimorphism, principally in relation to the requirements of childbirth. Morphology of the pelvis is thus an especially diagnostic tool for sex determination, since female pelvic geometry permits a greater outlet for passage of the neonate head and shoulders during birth. In particular, features of the innominate (figure 6) such as shape of the pubic bone, elevation of the auricular surface, size/shape of the sciatic notch, size/shape of the acetabulum, presence of a preauricular sulcus, and curvature and width of sacrum, were useful in this study.

In females, the body of the pubis is longer, thereby increasing the size of the pelvic outlet. Although 47 pubic symphyseal faces were preserved (as previously discussed for the Todd aging method), only 36 full pubic bodies with a portion of ischiopubic ramus were available for sex determination. Of those, 89% were characteristically male, demonstrating a triangular shape with a broad medial aspect and no evidence of a ventral arc. The female pattern for these features is a rectangular pubis, pronounced ventral arc, and sharp, narrow medial aspect of the ischiopubic ramus. According to Bass, the presence of a ventral arc is the most diagnostic of the female pubic features.

The greater sciatic notch is an often-used preliminary tool for sex determination, though not the most accurate. The dimorphic pattern is a wide notch in females, narrow opening in males. The size and shape of the acetabulum can also be utilized, with males showing greater robusticity in this feature corresponding to the generally greater size of the male femur head with which it articulates. In the St. Stephen’s collection, 76% of the specimens preserving a sciatic notch were classified as males. Of those with a complete acetabulum, 98% appeared male.

Elevation of the auricular surface (a landmark previously mentioned for age determination) is another dimorphic feature of the innominate, and one of the few that can be reliably used even on subadults (over age 10). Females present a completely raised face at this sacroilliac articulation. Male auricular surfaces are not elevated around the entirety of the articular margin. Over 75% of the innominates demonstrated the male pattern for the St. Stephen’s collection.

Finally, the presence of a preauricular sulcus is a female characteristic, associated with the elevated auricular surface. In the past this features was linked to parturition. Although not present in all females, when it is present, it is considered a distinctively female trait. Eight individuals presented this characteristic, or 7% of the collection.

Sacrum: As a rule, the female sacrum is wider and flatter than that of the male, a morphology again permitting a greater outlet for the birth canal. In the St. Stephen’s collection, 97% of the sacra showed the narrowness and curvature of males. However, this is a rather subjective observation, and should only be used in conjunction with other techniques of sex determination.

Sex Determination Summary: The average percentage of males using all features discussed above was 87%. However, this gives equal credence to each method employed, a potentially unwarranted assumption since not all the methods are evenly weighted for accuracy. In particular, features of the innominate are far more diagnostic than others. Krogman ranked accuracy of sex determination using the pelvis at 95%, followed by the skull at 92%, the mandible alone at 90%, and long bone measures at 80%. Stewart indicated slightly lower yields, however the order of accuracy was the same with the long bones again the least accurate. For the St. Stephen’s collection, the pelvis produced an 87% male rate, the mandible 99%, the skull 95%, and the combined long bone features 79%. If the long bone metric and non-metric values are excluded, the average percentage of males represented in this collection is 93%.

Regardless of the method utilized, the vast majority of individuals represented in the Byzantine St. Stephen’s collection are male. This is a pattern consistent with the copious historical literature indicating a male monastic community at the site during the Byzantine period.

Stature Reconstruction: Interest in reconstructing stature from skeletal remains dates to the early 1800’s. The introduction of regression formulae developed in modern populations has enhanced the accuracy of estimation, especially when multiple long bones are available for the same individual. Unfortunately, this was not the case with the St. Stephen’s collection, thus overall stature profiles for the group are provided on single bones, and discussed as a group composite.

Stature was reconstructed using the regression formulae of Trotter and Glesser for the long bones, and the calcaneus and talus formulae developed by Holland. These measurements are based on the maximum length of the adult bones. No significant difference was found between the left and right sides for any of the bones utilized (table 7). Based on estimates for the femur, tibia, humerus, radius, ulna, calcaneus and talus a composite stature of approximately 166.5 ±6.6 cm was determined for the St. Stephen’s collection. This falls well within the height range of other regional Byzantine sites such as Ein Gedi (163 cm), Khan el-Ahmar (167 cm), Lahav (163 cm), Rehovot-in-the-Negev (170 cm), and Kursi (162 cm).

There were a few femora and tibia which substantially exceeded the average height (approaching 190 cm). Given the apparent size of a few of the remains, general postcranial robusticity was calculated for the collection as another monitor of overall body size (table 8). Between bone indices were not calculated given the disarticulated nature of the remains, however single bones measures were compiled. The many measures of overall robusticity in the postcranial skeleton, from the size of the scapula (scapular index) and the pronounced linea aspera (site of attachment on the femur for the hamstring muscles indicated by the pilastric index), illustrated the general robust nature of St. Stephen’s Byzantine inhabitants. Though not particularly tall individuals, they were quite stocky and muscular.

Stature Summary: The average reconstructed height for this collection was 166.5±6.6 cm. Several individuals demonstrated great robusticity, either in the size of their long bones (such as the 3 tibia approaching 192 cm reconstructed height), pronounced muscle markings, or overall bone breadth. In general, these indicators illustrate a healthy, robust, well-muscled group of individuals. The excellent degree of bone mineral maintenance alluded to in an earlier section fits this pattern as well. To maintain this morphology was energy expensive, implying an adequate-to-abundant caloric intake. Though only a cursory measure, these data suggest a well-fed, possibly affluent community.

When the general health indicated by stature and robusticity is combined with the burial location of these individuals, an intriguing argument begins to emerge regarding the status of the remains. Although there are numerous Byzantine-style tombs around the École Biblique grounds, these particular members of the St. Stephen’s community were buried in the far older burial chambers. In addition, there were numerous children in the same location, a pattern not seen in the Byzantine-style tombs based upon preliminary surveys.

By utilizing the historical and archaeological records as collateral evidence, it is quite possible that these remains represent the elite segment of the Byzantine St. Stephen’s community. It is not uncommon to find mention of special burial places for "senior fathers," removed from the less august members of the monastery. At several Judean desert sites, both archaeological and textual distinctions have been found for the separation of monastic office-holders and lay monks. The presence of children adds further credence to this view, as the literature suggests they were often buried near the remains of venerated individuals.

To test this status hypothesis, future analyses of stature will include metacarpal (hand) and metatarsal (foot) length estimates, as well as reconstructions from fragmentary long bones. This will significantly enhance the sample size for stature estimation. In addition, several measures of diet and disease stress will be analyzed to further test the question of affluence. These data will then be compared to those available for Byzantine skeletal collections from the region.

Regional Comparisons:  As stated by Schwartz, "although compiling long lists of measurements for its own sake is of little value, the quantification of morphological features is necessary…in order to make accurate comparisons between and within skeletal populations." Thus, a survey of the literature was undertaken to find regional counterparts to the St. Stephen’s collection.

Few published analyses of skeletal collections from the 73 desert monasteries surveyed by Hirschfeld were available for comparison to the Byzantine St. Stephen’s collection. On occasion, when allusion was made to human remains in the literature, it usually occurred as a footnote or passing mention, such as those found for Khirbet Bureikut, Gerasimus, Khirbet el-Kilya, Khallat ed-Danabiya, and Theoctistus (Deir Mugallik). Likewise at Choziba, mention of hundreds of skeletal remains can be found in several works, however osteological analysis was lacking.

The same was true for the Mar Saba region. Mader’s excavation of the monastery of Sabas described several skulls and skeletal remains that possibly date to the Byzantine period. Passing reference was also made to 5 burial sites in Sabas’ nearby Kastellion. A more detailed description of the site and surrounding coenobia can be found in the work of Patrich, with mention and photos of the abundance of skeletal material in situ. In the burial caves were found frescos of 36 figures, probably the hermits of the monastery, as well as a list of names. And in the diakonikon, reference was made to the skulls of the monks on display in glass cases, and the storage of their appendicular skeletal remains in a separate area sealed by a metal grill. Again however, no analysis of the skeletal material seems to have been conducted as part of the larger archaeological investigation.

At Martyrius in the Judean desert, excavation reports mention the exhumation and later reburial in Bethany (Monastery of el-cAzariya) of 10 individuals (9 men, perhaps one woman). Osteological analysis of these remains concentrated on specific disease syndromes such as arthritis. Likewise, at the Monastery of St. John the Baptist, analyses focused on leprosy and tuberculosis. Given the small size of the collection(s) and degree of preservation, age and stature reconstructions were not conducted.

The most useful comparative skeletal analysis found to date was completed on the remains from the monastery of Euthymius (Khan el-Ahmar). Chitty’s original description of the tomb contents mentioned several skeletons, including the remains of a short old man, a short younger man (~21 years old) with "a fairly small thigh but vast of hip," one woman, and several children. Herschkovitz and others subsequently described the skeletal collection in detail.

The degree of similarity between the Khan el-Ahmar and St. Stephen’s collections was notable. Both contained the remains of primary burials, found in a commingled setting. The minimum number of individuals were comparable, with 117 adults and 21 children in the Khan el-Ahmar collection compared to the 109 and 58 individuals from St. Stephen’s. Herschkovitz reported that all remains were male, again a comparable pattern to the largely male community at St. Stephen’s. The age distributions in the adults were the same, with approximately 20% aged over 50 years, and almost half the collection greater than 40 years old. Furthermore, as seen in Table 9 there was no significant difference in robusticity between the two Byzantine collections using the measures reported for the Khan el-Ahmar collection. As indicated earlier, stature for Khan el-Ahmar was reconstructed at 167 cm, compared with 166.5±6.6 cm height at St. Stephen’s.

Future analysis will include expanding the search for comparative collections beyond the Judean desert. Herskovitz and others have conducted analyses in both the Galilee and Negev, and the literature for these regions will thus be combed for sources of comparative osteological data.
 

Conclusions

As outlined above, the symbiotic interplay of history, archaeology, theology, and biology has proven beneficial to each discipline, and has fostered an exciting research program focused on the human remains buried in the St. Stephen’s crypt complex. The information gathered to date provides an intriguing glimpse into the life of a large monastic community in Jerusalem during the Byzantine period, located on a thoroughfare of pilgrimage and pivotal in the history of the early Church.

There is an abundant historical record of an affluent monastic compound at this site, dating from the mid-5th through early 7th century AD. Archaeological evidence corroborates this from excavations of a large Byzantine basilica, the presence of Byzantine material culture scattered throughout the human remains, radiocarbon dates to the late 5th-early 6th century, and fluoride analysis showing a homogeneous collection. The biological record demonstrates a community of healthy, robust men living into their 40s and beyond. Thus, as a first test of the synthetic power of the biocultural approach, this investigation was successful.

The symbiosis of these three databases provides rich potential for ongoing analysis. For example, the demographic profile has indicated a group living well into their 40s; however, several descriptions of monastic life posit extreme old age for their inhabitants. Further analysis of the age distribution of this collection as well as continued investigation into related historical texts will help determine whether this discrepancy is due to possible ‘bravado’ in the literature, or real constraints on this community such as increased exposure to disease in an urban setting, or the migration of older members to more isolated desert monasteries where they did indeed live to a venerable age.

The reconstruction of stature has likewise raised an intriguing question about status. Are the remains under consideration the elites of the community? General height, robusticity, and bone mineral maintenance seem to indicate such. Numerous additional indicators will be studied in future investigations to assess this proposal in detail. An analysis of childhood health, using indicators ‘frozen’ in the adult skeleton, will examine whether these individuals were raised in an affluent environment (e.g. -- adequate diet, low disease stress). Surveys of adult health such as disease patterns and nutritional adequacy will likewise be assessed.

The survey of Judean desert monasteries will be expanded to other monastic sites in the region in search of comparative skeletal collections. Studies of early monasticism have focused almost exclusively on rural communities, however, recent work, has drawn scholarly attention to the importance of urban settings. These groups were large and highly visible, and may indeed represent the earliest form of monasticism. The findings from St. Stephen's promise to shed new light on our understanding of the daily life of urban monks with interesting ramifications for comparison to their rural counterparts.

Additional intriguing questions can be asked of this biological-cultural interface. Pragmatics of monastic life related to daily activities can be addressed. The last two decades have witnessed a surge of interest in 'the body' in early Christianity, but missing from this scholarship has been an assessment of the 'consuming' and 'laboring' body. At St. Stephen’s, preliminary evidence has found an arthritic response in the majority of individuals at all sites of muscle, ligament, and tendon attachment associated with flexion of the knee. The historical record suggests a probable cause for this pathology: sustained, repetitive kneeling for prayer. By establishing the kinetic aspect of both private and communal prayer, such investigation will further demonstrate the link between behavior and skeletal response, and contribute to the ongoing debate over the history of devotional gestures such as kneeling. While skeletal records will allow us to determine the effects of long-term ascetical practices on the bodies of these monks, cultural and textual studies will enhance our understanding of their gestures.

And finally, prominent among the skeletal remains are the bones of numerous subadults (approximately 1/3 of the collection). What were these children doing in a monastic community? Were they apprentice monks, orphans, patients in a hospital on the grounds? Modern scholarship has centered on the adult monastic experience; a study of children in early monasticism based upon hard data and literary analysis, will add importantly to scholarship on monastic life.

This study thus presents a unique opportunity to expand beyond a purely textual or archaeological approach in reconstructing Byzantine monasticism by exploiting a rare convergence of 'materials and methods.' The exceptional quality of the St. Stephen's collection, coupled with the excellent historical record and growing archaeological context, provide a rich environment for continued analysis.

The data analyzed thus far help demonstrate the broad relevancy of the biocultural approach to an interdisciplinary audience. This multimodal, biocultural approach recognizes the importance of incorporating biological aspects of human adaptability with social and symbolic cultural mechanisms of human interaction. In an era when tensions between postmodern, humanistic approaches and traditional scientific perspectives threaten to divide discourse, the biocultural approach provides a forum for common dialogue that is both intellectually compelling and requisite to an accurate understanding of the past.
 
 

Acknowledgements:

The following institutions and agencies have supported this project: the École Biblique et Archéologique Française and the Couvent Saint-Étienne; the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, and the Graduate School, of the University of Notre Dame; the Albright Institute for Archaeological Research, and, the National Endowment for the Humanities.

I would like to thank the following individuals for their help with this project, including Angela Kim, Kelley Coblentz Bautch, Richard Bautch, Patrick Cronauer OSB, Jennifer Richtsmeier, Rebeccah Sanders, Colin O’Neil, Alison French, Anthony Schafer, Sara Nieburh, John Cheadle, and Brian Kvasnica. Special thanks to Drs. Jerome Murphy-O’Connor OP, Justin Taylor SM, Dennis Van Gerven, Michael Driscoll, Eugene Ulrich, Brian Daley SJ, Joe Zias, Blake Leyerle, Kevin McCaffry OP, and Mark Schurr.



Footnotes:

1.   D. MARTIN, A. GOODMAN, G. ARMELAGOS, and A. MAGENNIS, Black Mesa Anasazi Health: Reconstructing Life from Patterns of Death and Disease  (Carbondale, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1991), 27.

2.   D. VAN GERVEN, S. SHERIDAN, and W. ADAMS, "Health and Nutrition of a Medieval Nubian Population:  The Impact of Political and Economic Change", American Anthropologist 97 (1995), 468-80.

3.   MARTIN et. al., Black Mesa.

4.   J. HATCH and R. GEIDEL, "Status-specific Dietary Variation in Two World Cultures", Journal of Human Evolution (hereafter JHE) 14 (1985), 469-76;   S. SHERIDAN and D. VAN GERVEN, "Female Biological Resiliency:  Differential Stress Response by Sex in Human Remains from Ancient Nubia", Human Evolution 12 no 4 (1997), 241-52.

5.   A. GOODMAN and G. ARMELAGOS, "Infant and Childhood Morbidity and Mortality Risks in Archaeological Populations", World Archaeology 212 (1989), 225-43;   S. SHERIDAN, "Childhood Health at Pueblo Grande:  An Assessment of Adaptation in a Classic Period Hohokam Community" in D. Abbott, ed., The Classic Period Hohokam of Pueblo Grande (Tucson, AZ:  University of Arizona Press, in press).

6.   K. KENNEDY, "Skeletal Markers of Occupational Stress" in M. Iscan and K. Kennedy, eds., Reconstructing Life from the Skeleton (New York: Alan Liss, 1989), 129-60; and, C. MERBS, Patterns of Activity-Induced Pathology in a Canadian Inuit Population (Ottawa: 1983).

7.   M. COHEN  and G. ARMELAGOS eds., Paleopathology at the Origins of Agriculture (Orlando: Academic Press, 1984);    D. VAN GERVEN and S. SHERIDAN eds., The Bioethnography of a Classic Hohokam Population:  Nutrition, Health and Disease at Pueblo Grande,  (The Pueblo Grande Project, Volume 6, SSI Publications in Archaeology, No. 20, Phoenix, AZ: Soil Systems Inc., 1994).

8.   W. STINI, "Adaptive Strategies of Human Populations Under Nutritional Stress" in E. Watts, F. Johnson and G. Lasker, eds., Biosocial Interrelations in Population Adaptations (The Hauge: 1975), 19-41.

9.   A. GOODMAN, "Health, Adaptation, and Maladaptation in Past Societies" in H. Bush and M. Zvelebil, eds., Health in Past Societies:  Biocultural Interpretations of Human Skeletal Remains in Archaeological Contexts (Boston: BAR, 1991), 31-8.  For additional information on biocultural interactions, see, A. GOODMAN, R. THOMAS, A. SWEDLUND, and G. ARMELAGOS, "Biocultural Perspectives on Stress in Prehistoric, Historical, and Contemporary Population Research", Yearbook of Physical Anthropology 31 (1988), 169-202;  and C. LARSEN, "Bioarchaeological Interpretations of Subsistence Economy and Behaviour From Human Skeletal Remains", In M. Schiffer, ed., Advances in Archaeological Method and Theory, Vol 10 (Orlando: Academic Press, 1987), 339-445.

10.  GOODMAN, "Health", 32.

11.  The human remains were exhumed during three 5-6 week summer field seasons from 1995 through 1997.  Participants in this phase of the project included Jennifer Richtsmeier (University of Colorado), Rebeccah Sanders, Richard Bautch, Kelley Coblentz Bautch, Anthony Schafer (all of the University of Notre Dame), Sara Nieburh (Indiana University), and Patrick Cronauer, OSB (École Biblique and St. Vincent’s Archabbey).

12.  G. ARMELAGOS, B. BRENTON, M. ALCORN, D. MARTIN, and D. VAN GERVEN, "Factors Affecting Elemental and Isotopic Variation in Prehistoric Human Skeletons", in T. Price, ed., The Chemistry of Prehistoric Human Bone (New York: Cambridge, 1989), 232.

13.  Angela Kim, Richard Bautch, and Kelley Coblentz Bautch (all of the University of Notre Dame) and Prof. Justin Taylor, SM (École Biblique) have provided translations of relevant texts; however, final responsibility for any errors remains mine alone.   In addition, Prof. Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, OP (École Biblique) kindly contributed all of his teaching notes related to St. Stephen’s.  Brian Kvasnica (Hebrew University), and Jamie Ullinger and Elizabeth Moriarity (University of Notre Dame) donated considerable archival research time.  Kevin McCaffrey, OP (École Biblique) provided invaluable help to all members of the research team using the École Biblique’s library.

14.  Works that specifically discuss the daily life and christology of Byzantine St. Stephen’s include: Cyril of Scythopolis, Lives of the Monks of Palestine [hereafter Cyril, V.E (Vita Euthymii). or V.S (Vita Sabae)], R. PRICE trans., (Kalamazoo, MI: Cistercian, 1991); Theodosius. On the Topography of the Holy Land, trans. J. BERNARD, (London: 1893); J. WILKINSON, trans., Jerusalem Pilgrims Before the Crusades, (Warminster, England:  Aris and Phillips, 1977), and Evagrius Scholasticus, A History of the Church in Six Books, from AD 431 to AD 594, trans. J. BIDEZ and L. PORMENTIER, (London: Childs, 1898), 282-7.   Useful compilations of these and other works -- such as visits by Peter the Iberian (c. 491), Anonymous of Piacenza (c. 570), Antonin (c. 570), Arculf (c. 670) -- can be found in: E. HUNT, Holy Land Pilgrimage in the Later Roman Empire AD 312-460 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982), 243; D. BAHAT, The Illustrated Atlas of Jerusalem  (Jerusalem:  Carta, 1997), 68-89; J. FINEGAN, The Archeology of the New Testament: The Life of Jesus and the Beginning of the Early Church (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969), 174-7; M.-J. LAGRANGE, Saint Étienne et Son Sanctuaire a Jerusalem (Paris: Alphonse, 1894), section II; and T. TOBLER and A. MOLINIER, Itinieraria Hierosolymitana et Descriptiones Terrae Sanctae (Geneva: JG Fick, 1880), 61-310 (Latin).

15.  References to daily activity patterns can be found throughout J. BINNS, Ascetics and Ambassadors of Christ: The Monasteries of Palestine 314-631 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994) ; D. BURTON-CHRISTIE, The Word in the Desert:  Scripture and the Quest for Holiness in Early Christian Monasticism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993) ; D. CHITTY,  The Desert a City:  An Introduction to the Study of Egyptian and Palestinian Monasticism Under the Christian Empire (Oxford:  Basil and Blackwell, 1966); Y. HIRSCHFELD, Judean Desert Monasteries of the Byzantine Period (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992).

16.  G. BARKAY, A. MAZAR, and A. KLONER, "The Northern Cemetery of Jerusalem in First Temple Times", QADMONIOT 8 no 2 (1975), 71-6;  G. BARKAY and A. KLONER, "Jerusalem Tombs from the Days of the First Temple",  BAR 12 no 2 (1986), 22-39;  G. BARKAY, A. KLONER, and A. MAZAR, "The Northern Necropolis of Jerusalem During the First Temple Period",  in H. Geva, ed., Ancient Jerusalem Revealed (Jerusalem: IES, 1994), 119-27;  A. MAZAR, "Iron Age Burial Caves North of the Damascus Gate, Jerusalem", IEJ  26 no 1 (1976),1-8.

16.  G. BARKAY, "The Garden Tomb: Was Jesus Buried Here?" BAR March/April (1986), 40-57.

17.  After a grammatical treatment of the Josephus text and the archaeology it has elicited, A. KLONER ["The ‘Third Wall’ in Jerusalem and the ‘Cave of the Kings’ (Josephus War V.147)", Levant 18 (1986), 121-9; and "Have the Tombs of the Kings of Judah Been Found?" BAR July/August, 1987, 54-6] identified the cavern of the Kings with the tombs at St. Stephen’s.  His argument would have been strengthened had he explained how this identification passed from the time of the last king treated, Manassah of the early 7th century, to Josephus writing in the first century CE.   G. BARKAY et. al. ("Northern Necropolis", 126-7) elaborate on the uniqueness of this cave complex by highlighting the fine tooling and double corniced walls, presence of a doubled-chambered vault, sarcophagi, the recessed panels carved into the cave walls to mimic the cedar paneling of Solomon’s Temple, the chandelier fitting, and other examples of extreme attention to detail.

18.  G. AVNI and Z. GREENHUT, The Akeldama Tombs:  Three Burial Caves in the Kidron Valley, Jerusalem.  (IAA Report #1, Jerusalem: IAA, 1996); BARKAY and KLONER,  "Jerusalem Tombs", 22-39; M.-J. LAGRANGE, Saint Étienne, section II; MAZAR,  "Iron Age", 1-8; B. MCCANE, "Burial Techniques", in E. Meyers, ed., The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), 386-7; J. MCRAY, "Tomb Typology and the Tomb of Jesus", Archaeology of the Biblical World  no 2 (1994), 34-44.     It should be noted however, that various aspects of Barkay and Kloner’s interpretations have been called into question.   For example, O. KEEL ["The Peculiar Headrests for the Dead in First Temple Times", BAR July/August (1987), 50-3] believed the headrests on the burial benches represented the Mesopotamian symbol for a return to the womb, rather than the Egyptian wig of Hathor.  And the absence of any Iron Age period artifacts in the complex has called the dating of the tombs into question.  Current research at the École Biblique under the direction of Jean-Baptiste Humbert, OP is addressing this issue further.

19.  J. MURPHY-O'CONNOR, The Holy Land: An Oxford Archaeological Guide from Earliest Times to 1700  (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), 137-41;  A. OVADIAH, Corpus of the Byzantine Churches in the Holy Land, R Kirson, trans., (Theophaneia 22, Bonn: Peter Hanstein, 1970), 77-8; BARKAY et al., "Northern Cemetery", 71-6.

20.  G. AVNI, "Christian Secondary Use of Jewish Burial Caves in Jerusalem", in F. Manns and E. Alliata, eds., Early Christianity in Context: Monuments and Documents  (Jerusalem: Franciscan Printing Press, 1993), 272.   It should be noted that M.-J. LAGRANGE (Saint Étienne, section III,116) believed the tombs were constructed during the Herodian period, and never used by the Byzantine Christians.  The presence of copious Byzantine material culture in repository 6 however, tends to preclude at least the latter part of this claim.  This will be treated in detail in later sections of this paper.

21.  J. BINNS Ascetics, 8;  J. WILKINSON, "Christian Pilgrims in Jerusalem During the Byzantine Period", PEQ (1976), 75-101, esp. 97.

22.  Descriptions of her building projects can be found in D. BAHAT, Illustrated Atlas, 68-89; K. HOLUM, Theodosian Empresses: Women and Imperial Dominion in Late Antiquity  (Berkeley: University of California, 1982), 175-216; C. DIEHL, Byzantine Empresses (London: Knopf, 1963), 22-43; E. HUNT, Holy Land Pilgrimage, 221-48.   Y. HIRSCHFELD’s quotation is found in "A Church and Water Reservoir Built by Empress Eudocia", LA 40 (1990), 292. Cyril of Scythopolis claimed her building projects were "more than I can count" (Cyril, V.E., 53.5, PRICE trans, 49).  Additional tales of Eudocia’s  travels are summarized in E. HUNT, Holy Land Pilgrimage, especially pages 229-30.  G. ARMSTRONG ["Fifth and Sixth Century Church Buildings in the Holy Land", GOTR 14 no 1 (1969), 17-30] points out that there was no delineation between church and state during this time, "thus to found a church was a religious act of personal piety but at the same time an act of state" (29), since as W. FREND ["The Monks and the Survival of the East Roman Empire in the 5th Century", Past and Present 54 (1972), 3-24] observed, "Christian society on Earth was a reflection of the polity of heaven" (6).

23.  P. DEVOS, "L’année de la Dédicace de Saint-Étienne à Jérusalem: 439", Analecta Bollandiana 105 (1987), 265-79; D. CHITTY, The Desert a City, 88-100; N. EGENDER, "The Monks of Palestine and the Council of Chalcedon", Holy Land 16 (1996), 174-9; K. HOLUM Theodosian Empresses, 185-6 and 217-28.

24.  FINEGAN, "Excavations", 174-7; M.-J. LAGRANGE, Saint Étienne, section II, 70.   Counterproposals for these dates have been offered by several scholars, including E. CLARK, "Claims on the Bones of Saint Stephen: The Partisans of Melania and Eudocia" Church History 51 (1982), 141-56, D. BAHAT, Illustrated Atlas, 71-3.   It is important to note that the basilica still wasn’t finished by the time of Eudocia’s death in AD 460 according to Cyril  (V.E., 54.5, 56.5 ? PRICE trans., 50).

25.  The quotation can be found in J. BALDOVIN, Liturgy in Ancient Jerusalem (Nottingham: Grove, 1989), 54.  Additional discussions of the size and beauty of the St. Stephen’s complex can be found in A. KAZHADAN, ed., "Jerusalem", Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, Vol 2 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), 1033-36;  H. VINCENT and F. ABEL, Jérusalem:  Reserches de Topographie, D’archéologie et D’histoire (Tome 2:  Jérusalem nouvelle, Paris: J Gabalda. 1926), 743-765.  The specific dimensions of the compound are detailed in A. OVADIAH’s Corpus, 71-7 on the architecture of Byzantine churches.

26.  J. BINNS, Ascetics, 6-7; EGENDER, "The Monks", 174-80; M.-J. LAGRANGE, Saint Étienne, section II, 77-8.  Cyril of Scythopolis describes the gathering as follows: " …the archbishop summoned all the monks to the holy city overnight, gathering them from all sides;  those who counted the multitude announced that the total came to ten thousand monks.   Since no church could hold so great a congregation, it was decided that all should assemble at the church of the holy protomartyr Stephen, which was capacious enough to receive the multitude… (V.S. 56.151, PRICE trans.,160-1).

27.  Based upon room dimensions, water consumption estimates, and grain supplies, M. BROSHI ["The Population of Western Palestine in the Roman-Byzantine Period", BASOR 236 (1979), 1-10] estimated the population of Byzantine Palestine at one million, with a significant segment of that population living in the cities, a density not seen again until the 20th century.    In addition, J. WILKINSON ["Ancient Jerusalem: Its Water Supply and Population", PEQ  (1974), 33-51] provided a model for estimating population density using water supply/demand rates, showing the interrelatedness of population growth in Jerusalem and the limitations of natural resources.   Y. HIRSCHFELD’S (Judean Desert Monasteries) work on monastic communities and his subsequent research on the secular segment of Byzantine Palestine [The Palestinian Dwelling in the Roman-Byzantine Period ( Studium Biblicum Franciscanum Collectio Minor #34, Jerusalem: Franciscan Printing Press, 1995)] were invaluable resources.

28.  Y. HIRSCHFELD, Judean Desert Monasteries.

29.  This stands in contrast to P. BROWN’S ["The Rise and Function of the Holy Man in Late Antiquity", The Journal of Roman Studies 61 (1971), 80-101] reconstruction of the Syrian holy man who, "…could live with his desert as long as he was prepared to merge into it, to adopt the total informality and lack of structure of wild life, to keep constantly on the move in search of food and water, to live off roots, to be equated with the beasts and especially with the birds…" (830).

30.  J. BINNS, "The Distinctiveness of Palestinian Monasticism, 450-550 AD", In J. Loades, ed.,  Monastic Studies: The Continuity of Tradition (Bangor, Maine: Headstart History, 1990), 11-20.

31.  M.-J. LAGRANGE, Saint Étienne, section II, 81-3.

32.  J. MURPHY-O’CONNOR, The Holy Land, 137-41; A. OVADIAH, Corpus, 71-7; J. BALDOVIN, Liturgy, 30-7.

33.  Many Near Eastern archaeologists have worked in or near the St. Stephen’s tombs, including:  THOMAS CHAPLIN ["Discovery at Jerusalem" PEQ 8 (1876), 9]; CLAUDE CONDER ["The Asnerie," PEQ 9 (1877), 144]; W. FLINDERS PETRIE ["Notes on Places Visited in Jerusalem." PEQ 22 (1890), 157-159]; HAYTER LEWIS ["Additional Notes on the Church of St. Stephen", PEQ 23 (1891), 298-9]; CONRAD SCHICK ["The Newly Discovered Rock-Cut Tombs Close to the Jeremiah Grotto Near Jerusalem", PEQ 25 (1893), 155-7]; MARIE-JOSEPH LAGRANGE, Saint Étienne; C. SPYRIDONIDIS ["The Church of St. Stephen", PEQ 35 (1907), 137-9]; LOUIS-HUGUES VINCENT and FELIX-MARIE ABEL, Jérusalem, GABRIEL BARKAY and AMOS KLONER, "The Northern Cemetery", and AMI MAZAR, "Iron Age".

34.  An important point of consideration in light of M.-J. Lagrange’s claim (see note 21).

35.  Rebeccah Sanders, a visiting researcher at the École Biblique and Fellow of the Albright Institute for Archaeological Research, is currently collecting and analyzing data on the subadult remains as part of a Fulbright-funded study of childhood health in this community.

36.  Landmarks of temporal bone fragments included:  the entire petrous portion and mastoid process, the groove for the middle temporal artery, the zygomatic process, and at least half of the squamous portion.

37.  Landmarks for the proximal humerus included:  the entire head, anatomical neck, greater tubercle, and intertubular groove of the surgical neck.  Landmarks for the distal humerus included:  the trochlea and capitulum, both the medial and lateral epicondyle, the olecrenon fossa and corresponding coronoid fossa, and a portion of the shaft.

38.  Landmarks for the proximal radius included:  the head, neck, tuberosity and a portion of the anterior oblique line.  Landmarks for the distal radius included:  the styloid process, ulnar notch, and a portion of the shaft.

39.  Landmarks for the proximal ulna included:  the olecrenon process, trochlear notch, coronoid process, tuberosity, radial notch, and supinator crest.  Landmarks for the distal ulna included:  the styloid process, head, groove for the extensor carpi ulnaris, and a portion of the shaft.

40.  Landmarks for the proximal femur included:  the greater and lesser trochanters, the femoral head with fovea capitus, and the gluteal tuberosity to the intertrochanteric line/crest.  Landmarks for the distal femur included:  the medial and lateral condyles, the patellar articular surface, and the shaft to the superior margin of the knee joint.

41.  A reasonable estimate if one were to include the slightly more fragmentary remains would approach 138 adults using the femur, tarsals, humerii, and proximal ulna.

42.  Following exhumation, the remains were brought to the laboratory facilities established in the Ancien Couvent on the École Biblique grounds.  The bones were cleaned, numbered, and arranged by bone element.  No preservatives were added; the only change to their original composition was a surface cleaning with warm water (to permit analysis of age, sex, and pathological conditions).  Each element was also given a level designation indicating uppermost (1) through lowest (28) layers.

43.  A slaughterhouse was located at this site just prior to its purchase by the Dominicans (see H. VINCENT and F. ABEL, Jérusalem, 743-60), and it is possible that some of the remains were placed in the repository during subsequent excavations of the site by Lagrange and others.  Prof. Brian Hesse (University of Arkansas) and Justin Lev-Tov (University of Tennessee) provided a preliminary analysis of the non-human bones, which included camel, donkey, horse/mule, bovine, pig, sheep/goat, chicken, cat, dog, and mouse.

44.  Fluoride analysis was conducted by H. Martin and L. Voiter (University of Notre Dame) under the direction of Dr. Mark Schurr [for a full description of the technique used, see M. SCHURR. "Fluoride Dating of Prehistoric Bones by Ion Selective Electrode", Journal of Archaeological Science (hereafter JAS) 16 (1989), 265-270].   Sample preparation was completed by Anthony Schafer, currently at the University of Wisconsin.

45.  A detailed analysis of the archaeological remains is currently underway by Richard Bautch, and Kelley Coblentz Bautch (University of Notre Dame) and should be completed by summer’s end, 1999. Preliminary analysis of the oil lamps was conducted by Dr. Eric Lapp (Duke University) and Prof. Gabriel Barkay (Jerusalem University College).  Both confirmed the Byzantine date in their surveys of the materials.

46.  C. LOVEJOY, R. MEINDL, R. MENSFORTH, and T. BARTON, "Multifactorial Determination of Skeletal Age at Death: A Method and Blind Tests of Its Accuracy", American Journal of Physical Anthropology (hereafter AJPA) 68 (1985), 1-14.

47.  T. TODD, "Age Changes in the Pubic Bones, I:  The White Male Pubis", AJPA 3 (1920), 285-334.

48.  R. MEINDL, C. LOVEJOY, and R. MENSFORTH. "Skeletal Age at Death:  Accuracy of Age Determination and Implications for Human Demography", Human Biology 55 (1985), 73-87.   It should be noted that a tendency to over-age individuals has been found after age 40 by some [S. BROOKS, "Skeletal Age at Death: The Reliability of Cranial and Pubic Age Indicators", AJPA 13 (1955), 567-597], while others claim under-aging of the 45+ year old individuals is problematic [L. AIELLO and T. MOLLESON, "Are Microscopic Ageing Techniques More Accurate than Macroscopic Ageing Techniques", JAS 20 (1993), 689-704].

49.  Pubic symphysis data was collected by Prof. Dennis Van Gerven (University of Colorado).

50.  Thus, 0-9 years becomes decade 1, 11-9 years decade 2 and so on. Investigators arguing for expanded age categories include: A. GOODMAN, "On the Interpretation of Health from Skeletal Remains", Current Anthropology 34 no 3 (1993), 281-8; L. KONIGSBERG and S. FRANKENBERG, "Estimation of Age Structure in Anthropological Demography", AJPA 89 (1992), 235-56; P. SMITH, "An Approach to the Paleodemographic Analysis of Human Skeletal Remains from Archaeological Sites", Biblical Archaeology Today 1990, (Proceedings of the Second International Congress on Biblical Archaeology, Pre-Congress Symposium:  Population, Production, and Power, Jerusalem: IES, 1993), 2-13; and, D. VAN GERVEN, and G. ARMELAGOS, "Farewell to Paleodemography?  Rumors of its Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated", JHE 12 (1983), 353-60.

51.  C. LOVEJOY, R. MEINDL, T. PRZYBECK, and R. MENSFORTH, "Chronological Metamorphosis of the Auricular Surface of the Ilium: A New Method for the Determination of Adult Skeletal Age at Death", AJPA 68 (1985), 15-28.; S. SAUNDERS, C. FITZGERALD, T. ROGERS, C. DUDAR, and H. MCKILLOP, "A Test of Several Methods of Skeletal Age Estimation Using a Documented Archaeological Sample", Canadian Society of Forensic Science Journal 25 (1992), 97-117.

52.  Also reminiscent of the Todd method is the tendency to underage 45+ year old individuals (SAUNDERS et al., "A Test", 97-100).  K. MURRAY and T. MURRAY ("A Test of the Auricular Surface Aging Method," Journal of Forensic Sciences (hereafter JFS) 36 no 4 (1991), 1162-9) warn that this method is useful in conjunction with other aging techniques, but should not stand alone as the sole criterion for age determination.

53.  Auricular surface age data were collected by Alison French, Tel Ekron-Miqne Fellow at the Albright Institute for Archaeological Research in Jerusalem.

54.  T. WHITE, Human Osteology  (San Diego: Academic Press, 1991), 369-77.  For a discussion of the pitfalls of paleodemographic research, see:  J. BOCQUET-APPEL and  C. MASSETT, "Farewell to Paleodemography",  JHE  11 (1982), 321-33; J. WOOD, C. MILNER, H. HARPENDING, and R. WEISS, "The Osteological Paradox:  Problems of Inferring Prehistoric Health from Skeletal Samples", Current Anthropology 33 (1992), 343-58.  For counter-responses to these arguments, see:  A. GOODMAN, "On the Interpretation", 281-8, and D. VAN GERVEN and G. ARMELAGOS, "Farewell", 353-60.

55.  Examples from the patristic literature can be found in R. WILKEN, The Land Called Holy: Palestine in Christian History and Thought (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992), 157;  D. CHITTY, The Desert a City, 96; Cyril (V. S. 183.17).

56.  D. VAN GERVEN and G. ARMELAGOS, "Farewell", 353-60.

57.  T. MILLER, "Byzantine Hospitals",  In John Scarborough, ed., Dumbarton Oaks Symposium on Byzantine Medicine, No 38 (Washington, DC: Meriden-Stinehour Press, 1984), 53-63; V NUTTON, "From Galen to Alexander:  Aspects of Medicine and Medical Practice in Late Antiquity", In John Scarborough, ed., Dumbarton Oaks Symposium on Byzantine Medicine, No 38 (Washington, DC: Meriden-Stinehour Press, 1984), 381-414; T. MILLER, The Birth of the Hospital in the Byzantine Empire (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985), 132-6.

58.   For a discussion of this topic, see:  J. BLENKINSOPP, "Life Expectancy in Ancient Palestine" Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament 11 no 1 (1997), 44-55.

59.  Several methods for determining age using degree of dental attrition are available and will be applied to this collection [D. BROTHWELL, Digging Up Bones  (Cornell: Cornell University Press, 1981), 51-7; B. SMITH, "Patterns of Molar Wear in Hunter-Gatherers and Agriculturalists", AJPA 63 (1984), 39-56].  R. MEINDL and C. LOVEJOY ["Ectocranial Suture Closure:  A Revised Method for the Determination of Skeletal Age at Death Based on the Lateral-Anterior Sutures", AJPA 68 (1985), 57-66] used the degree of fusion of the sutures of the skull for age estimation, and although the number of intact crania is small for this collection, the method will be employed on the limited sample size.  E. KERLEY ["The Microscopic Determination of Age in Human Bone", AJPA 23 (1965), 149-64] proposed a method, later modified [ER KERLEY and DH UBELAKER, "Revisions in the Microscopic Method of Estimation Age at Death in Human Cortical Bone", AJPA 49 (1978), 545-6] which utilized microscopic examination of the cellular structure of femoral midshaft samples in an assessment of age.

60.  T. WHITE, Reconstruction, 320-329.

61.  The criteria in Table 5 were compiled from descriptions in: W. BASS, Human Osteology:  A Laboratory and Field Manual, 4th ed., (Columbia, Missouri:  Missouri Archaeological Society, 1995); T. ROGERS and S. SAUNDERS,  "Accuracy of Sex Determination Using Morphological Traits of the Human Pelvis", JFS 39 no 4 (1994), 1047-56, esp. 1049; D. MITTLER and S. SHERIDAN, "Sex Determination in Subadults Using Auricular Surface Morphology:  A Forensic Science Perspective", JFS 37 no 4 (1992), 1068-75; W. KROGMAN, The Human Skeleton in Forensic Medicine (Springfield, Illinois:  Charles Thomas, 1962), 112-52.

62.  T. STEWART, Essential of Forensic Anthropology (Springfield, Illinois:  Charles Thomas, 1979), 87-93.

63.  Analysis of non-metric traits was conducted by the author.  Measurements for the metric indicators were collected by:  Colin O’Neil (currently with the US Navy), John Cheadle (University of Maryland), Rebeccah Sanders (Fulbright Fellow), and Anthony Schafer (University of Wisconsin).

64.  W. KROGMAN, The Human Skeleton, 112.

65.  R. MEINDL, C. LOVEJOY, R. MENSFORTH, and L. DON CARLOS, "Accuracy and Direction of Error in the Sexing of the Skeleton: Implications for Paleodemography", AJPA 68 (1985), 85.

66.  It should be noted that sex determination for the innominate is based upon differential growth of the female pelvis.  Thus, it has been found that borderline cases have a tendency to be classified as male (ROGERS and SAUNDERS, "Accuracy", 1047-56).

67.  This allowed using the Phenice method [T. PHENICE, "A Newly Developed Visual Method of Sexing the Os Pubis", AJPA 30 (1969), 297-302] which utilized the shape of the pubis, presence/absence of the ventral arc, and the medial aspect of the ischio-pubic ramus.  T. WHITE (Reconstruction, 325) stated a 96-100% success rate for the method, but cautioned that accuracy is reduced in older individuals.

68.  W. BASS, Human Osteology, 202.

69.  G. LETTERMAN, "The Greater Sciatic Notch in American Whites and Negroes", AJPA 28 (1941), 99-116; S. WASHBURN, "Sex Differences in the Pubic Bone of Bantu and Bushman", AJPA 7 (1949), 425-32;  B. BOUCHER, "Sex Differences in the Foetal Pelvis", AJPA 15 (1957), 581-600.

70.   MITTLER and SHERIDAN, "Sex Determination", 1068-75.

71.  T. STEWART , Essentials, 107.

72.  T. STEWART, Essentials, 103.

73.  W. BASS, Human Osteology, 200.

74.  W. KROGMAN, The Human Skeleton, 112

75.  T. STEWART, "Medico-legal Aspects of the Skeleton. I. Age, Sex, Race, and Stature", AJPA 6 no 3 (1948), 315-21.

76.  It should be noted that there was an apparent taboo against placing women in monastic burial grounds as discussed by J. PATRICH, Sabas, Leader of Palestinian Monasticism:  A Comparative Study in Eastern Monasticism, Fourth to Seventh Centuries.  (Washington DC:  Dumbarton Oaks, 1995), 35;  and H. GOLDFUS, B. ARUBAS, and E. ALLIATA, "The Monastery of St. Theoctistus", LA 45 (1995), 247-92, esp. 274.  Goldfus et. al. mention Choziba as an exception to the rule during this period.

77.  W. BASS, Human Osteology, 26.

78.  K. PEARSON, "On the Reconstruction of the Stature of Prehistoric Races", Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 192A (1898), 169-244.

79.  M. TROTTER and G. GLESER, "Estimation of Stature from Long Bones of American Whites and Negroes", AJPA 10 (1952), 463-514;  M. TROTTER and G. GLESER, "A re-evaluation of Estimation Based on measurements of Stature Taken During Life and of Long Bones After Death", AJPA 16 (1958), 79-123;  T. HOLLAND, "Brief Communication: Estimation of Adult Stature from the Calcaneus and Talus", AJPA 96 (1995), 315-320.

80.  For complete lists of measurement criteria, see W. BASS, Human Osteology  and J. SCHWARTZ, Skeleton Keys: An Introduction to Human Skeletal Morphology, Development and Analysis (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), appendix G.  No complete fibula were found, thus this long bone is excluded from the analyses.

81.  B. ARENSBURG, The People in the Land of Israel from the Epipaleolithic to Present Times (Ph.D. dissertation, Tel Aviv University, 1973), 22.

82.  I. HERSCHKOVITZ, R. YAKAR, C. TAITZ, S. WISH-BARATZ, A. PINHASOV, and B. RING, "The Human Remains from the Byzantine Monastery at Khan el-Ahmar", Liber Annus 43 (1993), 373-85;  esp. 374.

83.  B. ARENSBURG, The People, 22.

84.  I. HERSCHKOVITZ, B. RING, Y. RAK, and B. ARENSBURG "Skeletal Remains From the Northern Church", in Excavations at Rehovot-in-the-Negev, Vol I:  The Northern Church,  by Y. Tsafrir, J. Patrich, R. Rosenthal-Heginbottom, I. Herschkovitz, and Y. Nevo. (Qedem, Jerusalem: Hebrew University, 1988), 193-209, esp. 203.

85.  B. ARENSBURG, "A Short Review of Paleopathology in the Middle East. Mitekufat Haeven", J. Isr. Prehist. Soc.18 (1985), 21-30.

86.  V. FORMICOLA, "Stature Reconstruction from Long Bones in Ancient Population Samples:  An Approach to the Problem of its Reliablity", AJPA 90 (1993), 351-8.   Formicola found male samples prone to greater heterogeneity than females, which might also contribute to the standard deviation for the collection. It should be noted however that the coefficient of variation (cv=4.0) fell well within the range of acceptability for biological samples.

87.  J. PATRICH and L. DI SENGI, "New Greek Inscriptions from the Monastery of Theoctistus in the Judean Desert", in D. Baraq et al., Eretz-Israel: Archaeological, Historical, and Geographical Studies, Vol. 19, (Jerusalem:  Is, 1987), 272-81; H. GOLDFUS, "The Monastery of St. Theoctistus", esp. 276-80, note #87.

88.  Y. HIRSCHFELD, "Euthymius and his Monastery in the Judean Desert", LA 43 (1993), 339-71, especially 336-71; Y. MAGEN, "The Monastery of St. Martyrius at Ma’ale Adummim,"  In Y. Tsafrir, ed., Ancient Churches Revealed (Jerusalem, Israel Exploration Society:  1993), 170-96, esp., 178-180; H. GOLDFUS, "Khallat ed Danabiya:  A Desert Monastery", in G. Bottini, L. DiSegni, and E Alliata, eds., Christian Archaeology in the Holy Land:  New Discoveries (Jerusalem:  Franciscan Printing Press, 1990), 227-44, esp. 240.

89.  MAGEN, "The Monastery of St. Martyrius", 181; D. CHITTY, "Excavation at the Monastery of St. Euthymius, 1929", PEQ 62 (1930), 43-7 and 150-3; and "The Monastery of St. Euthymius", PEQ 64 (1932), 188-203.

90.  L. MEADOWS and R. JANTZ, "Estimation of Stature from Metacarpal Lengths", JFS 37 No. 1 (1992), 147-54; J. MUSGRAVE and N. HARNEJA, "The Estimation of Adult Stature from Metacarpal Bone Length", AJPA 48 (1978), 113-20.

91.  T. HOLLAND, "Estimation of Adult Stature from Fragmentary Tibias", JFS 37 (1992), 1223-9; D. STEELE and T MCKERN, "A Method for Assessment of Maxiumum Long Bone Length and Living Signature from Fragmentary Long Bones", AJPA 31 (1969), 215-27.

92.  Several analyses related to this question are currently underway.  For example, all of the teeth have been cast for electron microscopic analysis of attrition patterns related to dietary intake.  Several measures of adult nutritional intake are being measured such as cortical bone maintenance and porotic hyperostosis.  And, pathological indicators of occupational stress are being studied.  Furthermore, Dr. Blake Leyerle (University of Notre Dame) is studying the historical record for comparable resources related to these social issues.

93.  J. SCHWARTZ, Skeleton Keys, 322.

94.  Every reference available in the Ecole Biblique’s extensive library holdings as of July 1998 pertaining to the 73 sites listed in Y HIRSCHFELD ["List of the Byzantine Monasteries in the Judean Desert," in G. Bottini, L. DiSegni, and E Alliata, eds., Christian Archaeology in the Holy Land:  New Discoveries (Jerusalem, Franciscan Printing Press: 1990), 1-89] were examined for mention of skeletal analysis.  This literature was surveyed by the author, Richard Bautch, Kelley Coblentz Bautch, Brian Kvasnica, and Angela Kim.

95.  HIRSCHFELD "List", #30, 46-7; Y. TSAFRIR, "Khirbet Bureikut", IEJ 26 (1976), 206-7; Y. TSAFRIR and Y. HIRSCHFELD, "The Byzantine Church at Horvat Berachot", in Y. Tsafrir, ed., Ancient Churches Revealed (Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Socitey, 1993), 207-8.  Mention is made of a tomb containing the remains of 11 individuals, some represented by only a few bones.  Joe Zias was credited with the osteological analysis (213), although no mention was made of further analysis beyond the MNI estimate.

96.  HIRSCHFELD "List", #7, 18-9;  J. ZIAS ["Was Byzantine Herodium a Leprosarium?" Biblical Archaeologist 49, (1986), 182-6, esp. 185] mentions that skeletal remains demonstrating leprosy were found at this monastery, but no published reference for this work is provided.

97.  HIRSCHFELD "List", #44, 56-7; Y. MAGEN, "A Roman Fortress and a Byzantine Monastery at Khirbet el-Kilya", in G. Bottini, L. DiSegni, and E Alliata, eds.,Christian Archaeology in the Holy Land:  New Discoveries (Jerusalem:  Franciscan Printing Press, 1990), 321-32. Tomb typology for a Byzantine burial chamber was described, and a total of 19 skeletons were found therein.  However, other than burial orientation (east/west) and associated grave goods, no description of these remains was provided beyond the MNI (324-6).

98.  HIRSCHFELD "List", #48, 58-9;  GOLDFUS, "Khallat ed Danabiya", 227-44.  Two burial chambers were described, with bones intact.  However, an exact count of the remains was not provided, only burial orientation.

99.  HIRSCHFELD "List", #4, 12-13;  H GOLDFUS, et. al., "St. Theoctistus", 276-280 and note 86, 278.   Status differences in burial arrangement were discussed based on tomb typology, and mention was made of the eastern compartment being filled with bones.

100.  HIRSCHFELD "List", #15, 29-31;  A. SCHNEIDER, "Das Kloster der Theotoskos zu Choziba im Wadi el Kelt", Rönabuscgeb Quartalschrift 39 (1931), 297-330;  O. MEINARDUS, "Notes on the Laurae and Monasteries of the Wilderness of Judaea", LA 15 (1964), 220-50; J. ZIAS ("Byzantine Herodium", 186, note 3] mentioned that the remains from the charnel house at Choziba were analyzed, however they were later dated to post-Byzantine.  It should be noted that one reason for the lack of osteological analysis of human remains in this region is the extreme pressure placed on anthropological investigations by the ultra-orthodox community.  For detailed descriptions of this controversy, see: D. SHILOH, "Bones of Contention", Jerusalem Post Magazine July 25 (1997), 11-3; and,  G. BARKAY,  "Politics -- Not Religious Law -- Rules Ultra-Orthodox Demonstrators",  BAR  November/December (1997), 56-8.

101.  HIRSCHFELD "List", #16, 31-2.

102.  A. MADER, "Sechsunddreissig heiligengemaelde in einer Graeberhoehle von hirget el-in der Wuesste Juda", Das Heilige Land 72 (1928), 33-52, esp. 35;  and, A. MADER, "Conical Sundail and Ikon Inscription from the Kastellion Monastery on Khirbet el-Merd in the Wilderness of Judah", Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society 9 (1929), 122-135, esp. 128.  He described how a friend from the nearby monastery Mar Saba had "erected a little oratory in the tomb-cave amid the bones of the old monk."

103.  I. POMMERANTZ, Excavations and Surveys in Israel 2 (1983), 65-66.

104.  J. PATRICH, Sabas;  J. PATRICH, Map of Deir Mar Saba, (Jerusalem:  IAA, 1994).

105.  J. PATRICH, Sabas,  72, 140, 143; J. PATRICH, Map, 60.

106.  HIRSCHFELD "List", #9, 20-22;  Y. MAGEN, The Monastery of Martyrius at Ma’ale Adummim (Jerusalem, IAA:  1993), 9-15.

107.  MAGEN, "The Monastery of St. Martyrius", esp., 178-80;  J. ZIAS, "Leprosy and Tuberculosis in the Byzantine Monasteries of the Judean Desert", in D. Ortner and A. Aufderheide, eds., Human Paleopathology:  Current Syntheses and Future Options (Washington, D.C., Smithsonian  Institution Press, 1991), 197-9; J. ZIAS, "Leprosy in the Byzantine Monasteries of the Judean Desert", Koroth 9 (1985), 242-8;  J. ZIAS and P. MITCHELL, "Psoriatic Arthritis in a Fifth-Century Judean Desert Monastery", AJPA 101 (1996), 491-502.

108.  HIRSCHFELD "List", #20, 35-6;  ZIAS, "Leprosy in the Byzantine Monasteries", 242-8.

109.  HIRSCHFELD "List", #6, 15-8; HIRSCHFELD, "Euthymius", 336-71.

110.  CHITTY, "Excavation…1929", 43-7; and "The Monastery of St. Euthymius", 188-203.

111.  HERSCHKOVITZ, et. al., "Khan el-Ahmar", 373-85;  Y. MERMARIS, "The Monastery of St. Euthymius the Great at Khan El-Ahmar, in the Wilderness of Judea",  Rescue Excavations and Basic Protection Measures, 1976-1979, Preliminary Report (Athens, Eptalophos: 1989), esp. 31-3.

112.  HERSCHKOVITZ ("The Human Remains", 374) estimated that when other excavations and the poor quality of preservation were considered, the number approached 152 adults and 28 children.

113.  While this likely true for the adults, all of the subadults were listed as male, even those for whom sex determination could not have been definatively diagnosed (those under 10 years).

114.  HERSCHKOVITZ et al., "Rehovot", 374-5.

115.  Cranial measurements will also be collected to provide comparative information for other sites.  For example, B. ARENSBURG [The People, 32-9, 81), and H. NATHAN and N. HAAS ("Anthopological Data on the Judean Desert Skeletons", in E. Goldschmidt, ed., The Genetics of Migrant and Isolated Populations (Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1963), 284-5] presented information on cranial measurements as part of their overall racial classifications. Although racial classification is beyond the scope of this paper, and is of questionable biological credence, similar measurements can be used in an overall assessment of robusticity and will be analyzed in future works on the St. Stephen’s collection.   Additional information on postcranial measurements will also be collected for regions outside the Judean desert, such as those presented in HERSCHKOVITZ et. al., "Rehovot", 207-8.

116.  Rebeccah Sanders, Fulbright Fellow, is currently surveying the adult material for enamel hypoplasias ? dental defects associated with childhood physiological stress.  A survey of cribra orbitalia, a childhood nutritional anemia, has also been completed by the author.

117.  A complete paleopathological survey of the adult remains was conducted by the author.  Cancerous lesions, evidence of trauma, degenerative defects, and other disease conditions have been recorded.  In addition, all femora were sectioned to assess cortical bone maintenance.  All parietal bones were likewise sectioned for measurement of diploic thickness, as a monitor of adult nutritional intake.  Dental health was surveyed for the presence of carious lesions, attrition, abcesses, and casts of all the teeth have been made for a microscopic analysis of dietary intake.

118.  J. BALDOVIN, Liturgy;  A. BEARDS, "On kneeling in the liturgy",  Homiletic and Pastoral Review February (1992), 19-25;   J. BINNS, Ascetics;   D. BURTON-CHRISTIE, The Word, 83; EUSEBIUS. The History of the Church From Christ to Constantine  (London: Penguin Books, 1965), 207; Y. HIRSCHFELD, Judean Desert Monasteries, 131.

119.  Dr. Michael Driscoll and Richard Bautch (University of Notre Dame) have been addressing these issues using the liturgical records for the site, period, and region.  They have clearly documented kneeling for prayer as a common devotional gesture, and have found adundant evidence for genuflection as a highly repetative daily behavior.  This historical information fits well with the skeletal evidence for extreme deterioration of the knee [S. SHERIDAN, "Biocultural Reconstruction of Kneeling Pathology in a Byzantine Judean Monastery", AJPA Supplement 24 (1996), 209].

120.  In addition to the biological research on the children being conducted by Rebeccah Sanders and the author, Dr. Blake Leyerle (University of Notre Dame) is concentrating on the social aspects of children using textual material, studying their role in monastic communities and aspects of their care in monastic settings.
 
 

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