More on Corinthian Colonization in Apollonia

In this new article in the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, B. Kyle, L. A. Schepartz, and C. S. Larsen compare skeletal materials from Corinth and Apollonia in Albania to assess the impact of Corinthian colonization on the local Illyrian population as evident in human skeletal remains. Their conclusion: colonization led to greater stress on the local population. The article sounds speculative, and I would like to read the fine print (why are Neolithic burials part of the comparative group for colonization of the archaic era?), but this sort of comparative study of populations is always fascinating. Here’s the full reference:

Kyle, B., L. A. Schepartz, and C. S. Larsen. “Mother City and Colony: Bioarchaeological Evidence of Stress and Impacts of Corinthian Colonization at Apollonia, Albania.” International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, January 1, 2016, n/a – n/a. doi:10.1002/oa.2519.


Two of the authors on this paper published another article on the subject two years ago:

And the abstract:


This study uses bioarchaeological methods and interpretive frameworks, in conjunction with archaeological and textual evidence, to document and interpret the record of Greek colonial interactions between Corinth and local populations at Apollonia, Albania, in the region known as Illyria (modern Albania). A series of Illyrian human remains (n = 304; Early Iron Age – Hellenistic periods) and Corinthian human remains (n = 72; Neolithic – Hellenistic periods) were examined for evidence of physiological stress in order to characterize the impact of colonization. Statistical comparisons of pre- and post-colonial skeletal remains indicate that stress increased at Apollonia following colonization. This change may have resulted from impoverishment following Corinth’s extraction of local Illyrian resources and changes in sanitation and disease transmission associated with urbanism. Conversely, the record suggests a decrease in stress, although not to a significant extent, in Corinth. We speculate that decline in physiological stress in the Corinthian setting may reflect improved dietary quality and increased food availability


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