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Bones and other discoveries at Aspern & Marengo

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Bones and other discoveries at Aspern & Marengo

Postby DaveH » May 21st, 2017, 1:55 pm

As today and tomorrow mark the 208th anniversary of Aspern-Essling, it seems appropriate to pinch an item flagged up by Tom Holmberg on the Nap Series:

In den Jahren 2008 bis 2016 konnte von der Stadtarchäologie Wien das Entstehen der Seestadt Aspern archäologisch begleitet werden. Im Zuge von acht Grabungskampagnen wurden unter anderem Bestattungen, die mit der Schlacht von Aspern und Essling in Zusammenhang stehen, aufgedeckt. Sie werden in diesem Buch erstmals zusammenfassend mit einer Analyse der geborgenen Uniformreste und der anthropologischen Auswertung im Kontext von Zeitgeschehen und Heerwesen präsentiert.
https://www.wien.gv.at/archaeologie/pub ... nhalt.html

Between 2008 and 2016, the Vienna City Archaeology was able to conduct archaeological work during the development of the Aspern north bank suburb [the battlefield is now essentially built over]. In the course of 8 digging seasons, among other things, many burials were found, which were connected to the battle of Aspern-Essling. They are presented in summary for the first time in this book with an analysis of the buried uniform remains and their anthropological value in the context of the events of the time and of the military.

Last year, I came across a small item in similar vein about Marengo. A. Lumanardini & others: "Bone Lesions from the ossuary of the Napoleonic battle of Marengo, Northern Italy, 14th June 1800" in Journal of Paleopathology Vol14/2 (Chieti, Italy) (2002) pp.69-75 reviews a search through some of the bones in 1999. They had been able to use long bones from 5 individuals to estimate age (20-35) and height (163-172cm with an average of 168cm - 5ft 6in). There were 3 perimortem pathologies (ie: wounds close to death), all of which caused "rapid death" and there are photos of all of them. Probably just a coincidence, but they sound like Austrian victims of the last stage of Marengo in reverse order: a) right humerus (upper arm) 3.5cm long, 0.2cm long and 3.5cm deep cut behind the superior epiphysis (knobbly bit at the top), which has a vertical direction across the head and and neck of the humerus bone. Probably caused by a briquet, given the profile of the cut. The wound is from behind and from the top downwards and so, would have gone through the deltoid muscle - probably the victim was running away. b) cut located on the left side of a piece of skull frontal bone - triangular cut with a superior apex (0.11cm long and max 0.32cm wide) probably also from a briquet. Right-handed attacker, because the wound is on the left side of the skull. c) caused by a firearm - right half of the squama of the skull frontal bone with a clear edge, going into the skull part. It was probably caused by an iron canister ball (helpfully illustrated by such a ball in the wound in a photo).
DaveH
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Re: Bones and other discoveries at Aspern & Marengo

Postby DaveH » May 29th, 2017, 4:42 pm

Just ordered my copy of the Aspern book. Michael Wenzel tells me that there is also archaeology going on around the Wagram battlefield and two mass graves have been found. The work is just getting going, so there is no analysis yet.
DaveH
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Posts: 331
Joined: July 1st, 2015, 8:13 pm


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