Archaeologists have studied the remains of 82 individuals buried in the cemetery of V century BC in the Mesh ICEi in the South of Hungary, and was able to reconstruct the story of how a small village just two or three generations of provincial Roman culture mixed with the Hun. Article published in the journal PLoS ONE.
Mesh ICEi is located on the territory of the Roman province of Pannonia Valeria. The settlement here was founded in 430 years the settlers from the Eastern part of Pannonia, which obviously fled from the Huns. The cemetery of this settlement and, probably, the settlement was abandoned in 470 years. So it existed in the period when the Huns under leadership of Attila created a huge Empire North of the Danube and East of the Rhine, and, moreover, was just at the border between the Empire and Rome.
The mesh cascom cemetery buried by 96 people. Scientists under the leadership of Corina Knipper from the center of archeometry Kurt Engelhorn (Mannheim, Germany) investigated the remains of 82 of them. Special attention was paid to the form of skulls. The fact that the remains of the Huns easily recognized by the characteristic deformation of skulls: they are tight pull in infancy to give the head an elongated shape. This custom in numerous written sources associated with the Huns. Archaeologists have found many graves and cemeteries on the entire territory of the Empire of the Huns, with characteristic deformed skulls.
The scientists also analyzed the content of strontium in tooth enamel. Strontium in trace amounts absorbed from food and the food chain gets from the soil. Differences in the content of isotopes of strontium in teeth from different people indicates that they ate food grown on different soils and, therefore, come from different areas.
In addition, the researchers examined the contents of stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen in the bones. It is possible to detect some features of human nutrition. For example, if the basis of his diet was mainly wheat and barley, the content of carbon-13 into its bones will be less than if he ate a lot of millet.
By combining these data, scientists have reconstructed the following picture. Settlement in Mesh ICEi was founded by a small group of people who were natives of Pannonia, and, according to the type of graves, adhered to the Roman customs. About a decade later, the settlement was a small group (12 graves) people who were born and raised in a different region and had different food habits. Judging by the deformed skulls, they were carriers of the Hun culture. In later graves the elements of different cultures — Roman funeral rites and deformed skull — mixed. That is, for a relatively short period of time Roman and Hun culture amalgamability.
Archaeologists previously have found evidence that the Huns and Romans coexisted peacefully in Pannonia. This forces to reconsider the established in the historiography of ideas about the appearance of the Huns in Europe as a devastating invasion.