Migrations of Crusaders
A research project of the Department of Archaeology.
Dr. Piers Mitchell (Imperial College London) and Dr. Andrew Millard are collaborating on strontium and oxygen isotope analysis of human and animal teeth from Crusader period sites in Israel. In the 12-13th centuries hundreds of thousands of Europeans travelled to the eastern Mediterranean in military expeditions, as pilgrims, or for trade. There are unanswered questions about where the European settlers lived, the social and religious structure of the Frankish states, and discrimination and tolerance between the communities. This British Academy funded pilot project will investigate the geographical origins of 25 individuals excavated from Crusader period sites. We aim to confirm the suitability of the technique to identify first generation immigrants and to obtain data to form the basis of future projects to address more specific questions about the complex population of the Latin East in this period. Samples have been collected and are being analysed over the summer of 2006.