Estudo Antropológico do Convento de Nossa Senhora da Graça, Tavira (Portugal)
[Resumo proveniente da fonte]
The Augustinian convent of Our Lady of Grace of Tavira arises in 1542, founded by Friar Pedro de Vila Viçosa, in the space between walls, partially unoccupied after the expulsion/forced conversion of Iberian Jews in the late fifteenth century. However, works only began in 1569 and, due to various vicissitudes, were extended through the early years of the seventeenth century. Throughout its existence, the Gratian convent suffered some changes, including those that occurred in the Baroque period (eighteenth century) and from the adaptations that took place giving the building other function after the extinction of the religious orders in 1834. Thus, in 1839 the convent and its surrounds are requested by the Ministry of War to serve as a military quartering of Battalion nº. 5 (Batalhão de Caçadores n.º 5). After years of neglect and degradation, the building was purchased in 1999 by the municipality of Tavira which, by agreement with the Enatur - Pousadas de Portugal, set the conditions for the conversion of the former convent in historic inn (hotel). Due to the rehabilitation of the old convent, archaeological works were carried out across the area. Thus, it was possible to confirm the existence of an intense human occupation which extends from at least the Iron Age up to the Modern Era. Besides the occupational levels mentioned above, other areas used as sepulchral area were identified. However, in this study we will only deal with areas of death in medieval and modern age, identified in the cloister, in the church and in the elevator shaft. In these spaces, at least 29 burials were identified, centered between the middle of the sixteenth and mid-seventeenth century. Some of burial showed signs of human manipulation while others had already been moved to another location. Most of the individuals (non-adults and adults) were placed directly into the ground while in some cases there were signs of coffins. The majority of the individuals were founded in dorsal decubitus position, with their arms crossed at the chest, the belly or the pubic region. Their legs were always stretched out. Some individuals were found with jewellery pieces and numismatic artefacts. There were at least 47 individuals exhumed, 13 nonadults and 43 adults. The majority of the non-adults died within the first three years of life despite the presence of unborn individuals and adolescents. Among the adults, the age assessment was difficult to attain due to the low degree of bone preservation. Even so it was possible to identify individuals with 20-50 years of age. Concerning the sexual distribution, the population was primarily female despite the presence of males. The individual’s stature is within the stature standard at the time, which seems to be a good health indicator for this population. About the pathological evidences, most of the individuals suffered from some kind of degenerative effect both in their articular and non-articular surfaces. Despite these, there were cases of bone inflammation, traumas and physiological stress indicators in both adults and nonadults. In addition there is a possible case of a medical intervention, which could help to characterize both the biological and social aspects of this population. Keywords: Tavira, burial, skeletons, Middle and Modern Age.