Written Records Of The Mysterious Avar Empire Don’t Exist, So Researchers Learned A Lot About Them After Examining The Remains Of 424 Individuals Unearthed From Hungarian Cemeteries

Horváth Botond - - illustrative purposes only

Using DNA analysis, scientists have been able to illuminate the lifestyle and traits of a mysterious warrior people called the Avars. Once a nomadic people, the Avars ruled most of Central and Eastern Europe in the 6th century.

A new study published in the journal Nature has provided details about the lives of the Avars and how they interacted with the existing population after migrating to Europe. The findings revealed their marriage customs, which are not seen very often today.

Experts examined the remains of 424 individuals unearthed from four different cemeteries in Hungary.

The researchers were surprised by how interconnected the people were. They discovered that Avar women had more diverse DNA backgrounds than Avar men.

In addition, the men were buried with their parents, while the women’s parents were nowhere to be found in their graves.

This burial practice indicates that the Avar culture may have engaged in patrilocality, a term that refers to the social system in which women leave their families after getting married to live in close proximity to their new husband’s community instead.

Furthermore, it appeared that Avar people did not always stay with one partner for the entirety of their lives.

There were several cases where different men in the same family each had a child with the same woman. Avar men likely had more freedom to participate in non-monogamy compared to women.

“Two cases of men with multiple older female partners, all middle-aged at death, makes a good argument for polygyny (having multiple wives),” said a geneticist named Lara Cassidy, who was not involved in the study.

Horváth Botond – – illustrative purposes only

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