Les tranchées des Capucins de Ferrières (Martigues, Bouches-du-Rhône, France). Un charnier de l’épidémie de peste de 1720 à 1722 en Provence


fr - Pages 749-760

Published on 31 December 2009

The trenches of the “ Capucins de Ferrières” (Martigues, Bouches-du-Rhône, France). A burial place of the 1720–1722 Great Plague in Provence

We present the global results of the rescue excavation of a burial place linked to the plague epidemic that affected Provence in 1720–1722. The inhumation area, which is in Martigues (“Bouches-du-Rhône” County), consists of five parallel trenches corresponding to as many burials. While the observed funerary customs are all succinct, we could identify some slight nuances in the layout of the corpses’ interment. These variations seem to reflect a fluctuation of epidemic intensity. On the whole, 208 skeletons were collected on the site. This osteoarchaeological series increases the available data from the rescue excavation of another burial place due to the same epidemic in Martigues at the beginning of the 18th century: the “Délos” site (39 individuals).


Plague, Hasty burials, Field anthropology, Historical archives, Immunologic detection, Paleodemography, Paleomicrobiology

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