EMBIO 2021



Early Medieval Bioanthropology 2021. New approaches to Early Medieval funerary contexts in the Centre and North of the Iberian Peninsula

This first meeting (Coimbra – May 20 and 21, 2021) is dedicated to new approaches to early medieval funerary contexts. The program includes the presentation of research work carried out by multidisciplinary teams from fields such as biological anthropology, archaeology, chemistry, genetics, history, etc. In this first edition, the Centre and North of the Iberian Peninsula was selected for analysis and discussion. Other regions will be addressed in future meetings.
Various Iberian projects, either ongoing or recently concluded, have published new data based on the analysis of human bones, thus rekindling the debate among researchers. Early medieval documental sources are scarce and insufficient to understand the everyday life of communities and individuals. Therefore, bioanthropological studies and the application of new methods – such as the analysis of stable isotopes (diet and mobility) and genetics (haplogroups, genome sequencing of bacterial strains that devastated the ancient world, such as leprosy and the plague) – combined with historical interpretation/data have become a crucial source of information for the construction of knowledge about past societies.

This is the path that has been followed by international research in recent years, and it is in this context of progress and new challenges that Iberian researchers have developed their work. We believe that interdisciplinary projects are the future of research, and so the aim of the first edition of EMBIo, to take place in 2021, is to present the findings and discuss the future of research on Iberian late medieval funerary contexts. 

EMBIo2021 will address topics such as the following:

  • Nutritional behaviours and the relationship between dietary components, cultural practices, physiology and particular aspects of health and disease;
  • Occupational stress markers;
  • Population variations depending on the genetic structure or the existence of adaptative processes related to the environment;
  • Markers of demographic phenomena that may have affected the dynamics of populations;
  • Ancient DNA (analysis of haplogroups and human genome);
  • Analysis of documental sources from the period related to health, medicine, and funerary practices.


For more information, please visit the congress official site: EMBIO 2020.