Jessica ROTHE1 | Claudia Maria MELISCH2 | Natasha POWERS
(1Charité Berlin, Germany | 2Humboldt-University, Berlin, Germany)
Keywords: Forensic Genetics, Medieval cemetery, excavation
The department of Forensic Genetics at Charité Berlin investigated a triple burial that was found during recent excavations at St. Peters square in Berlin and dates back to the 12 th century and therefore to the beginning of the settlement Cologne/Cölln, Berlins medieval sister city. This triple grave was particular striking because of the unusual orientation of the skeletons and the high number of sharp force injuries that the buried individuals had to suffer prior to their death. Analysis from different disciplines, as well as the here in detail demonstrated DNA-analysis revealed the social function and of three individuals were that of mercenary soldiers, a part of the medieval societies which so far has been relatively poorly studied. Germany’s capital Berlin originated from the medieval twin cities Berlin and Cologne and was founded during the last quarter of the 12th century. In the center of the early Cölln stood the Saint Peter‘s Church with its graveyard, which is believed to serve as the burial site for the first settlers of Cölln. Relatively few is known about the first settlers of Cölln – Who where this first settlers? – Where they came from? – What were their life conditions and their social constructions? Modern genetic research can help to find out much more about the early deceased.