A multidisciplinary crew of researchers from INRAP, CNRS, the colleges of Ottawa, Rennes 2, Toulouse III Paul Sabatier and the Max Planck Institute has recognised the troopers of the final battles of the siege of Rennes in 1491. These are the supreme witnesses of the forces excited by the conflict between the armies of Duchess Anne of Brittany and the King of France. This analysis and its methodology are at the 2d the enviornment of two articles within the PLOS ONE overview.

The excavation of the Jacobins convent in Rennes

From 2011 to 2013, a crew from INRAP excavated the convent of the Jacobins, situation of the lengthy speed congress centre in Rennes Métropole, giving upward push to varied scientific publications, severely on Louise de Quengo (a noble Breton naturally mummified in her lead coffin), a musical rating engraved on a slate and even the diet in Rennes in all places in the Worn Régime. The presence of two mass graves, containing bigger than thirty subject matters, remained to be elucidated. These pits are up to date and beget 4 and a minimum of 28 other folks respectively. The simultaneity of the deposits indicates a surprising episode: osteological analyses veil that these troopers, absolute self assurance knowledgeable, died from stab wounds; radiocarbon analyses date the match from the mid-15th century to the head of the 16th century. All these standards correspond to a single conflict: the Warfare of Brittany (1487-1491).

The final Franco-Breton battle

Within the 15th century, the Duchy of Brittany skilled a duration of prosperity as a result of coverage of the Montfort family, making a princely verbalize honest of the kingdom. A few causes ended in the conflict: the need of the King of France, following the Hundred Years’ Warfare, to impose himself in Brittany; divisions within the Breton nobility and a ducal coverage supporting revolts in opposition to the King of France. Moreover, since Duke François II didn’t beget a male heir, the King of France, Charles VIII, claimed Brittany whereas the Duke positioned his daughters because the legitimate heirs. The battle broke out in 1487. It provocative many European forces: England, the Kingdoms of Castille and Aragon, the German Holy Roman Empire. The penalties of this conflict are aloof renowned since it marked the head of Breton independence. The siege of Rennes in 1491 ended with the marriage of Duchess Anne of Brittany, then 14, to Charles VIII.

Two camps, two pits

The two pits excavated by INRAP in Rennes contained solely male skeletons. Natty, primarily young, some are marked by perimortem trauma. But what camps did the Jacobin burials belong to? Sulphur, strontium and oxygen isotopic analyses had been performed to make a decision the geographical foundation of these troopers.

Preserved in mineralized tissues (bones and enamel), the proportions of these isotopes vary in accordance to varied factors equivalent to geology (severely for the strontium isotopes), climate, altitude and latitude (for the oxygen isotopes), and even distance to the flee (for the sulphur isotopes). By combining these three tracers, we are in a position to therefore name restricted geographical areas for which all these standards can point to the isotope values observed within the enamel (at the time of childhood and early life) and bones (roughly the final 10 years of life of the enviornment).

Thus, the predominant grave shows that 3 of the 4 skeletons beget a excessive likelihood of Breton foundation. The fourth has conventional stab wounds which beget scarred over. Its sulphur isotopic values imply that this became a well informed soldier, allied to the Breton camp. Indeed, his diet rich in animal proteins and his genomic traits (his mitochondrial haplogroup is a equivalent to that of Louise de Quengo and two of his burial neighbours) favour the hypothesis of a noble soldier as an different of a mercenary. The mix of isotopic and genetic analyses value that this nobleman had family ties in Brittany, had grown up some distance from his space of foundation, but had returned to fight within the battle threatening his independence.

The 28 subject matters within the varied pit belong to the French camp. Indeed, sulphur isotopic analysis on loads of the opposite folks indicates a non-Breton geographical foundation. The geographical foundation models constant with sulphur, strontium and oxygen isotopes imply that these troopers come from the north of the Paris Basin, the Poitou space, the Rhône valley and the Alps. These geographical origins pork up the rare historical data on the recruitment of French troopers all over this battle. Every other folks would beget a extra some distance away geography, and would come from Castille, Aragon, England and the German Holy Roman Empire. The isotopic analysis of their diet indicates heterogeneous consumption of animal proteins, suggesting troopers of assorted social location.

The see of human bone remains from mass graves gives outlandish, first-hand historical insights into fairly documented conflicts. This analysis shows that the heinous-teach of three isotopes can test assumptions about alliances and recruitment ideas in wars, and completes deficient historical archives in regards to the lives of normal troopers.

Predictive maps serving the history of migration

Right here, the researchers originate geographical foundation likelihood maps combining the sulphur, oxygen and strontium isotopes. They compiled 2,680 sulphur isotopic analyses from 221 sites across Western Europe in a database to tag the variations. These sulphur isotopic compositions across Europe are extremely predictable and vary primarily with native deposits of sea salt and dirt aerosols. Sulphur isotopes are extremely complementary to these of strontium and oxygen and pork up the accuracy of geographical attributions. The mix of these three isotopes then makes it doable to quantitatively and precisely assess the foundation of the archaeological subject matters, in explicit making it doable to value migratory flows.


Rozenn Colleter, Clément Bataille, Henri Dabernat, Daniel Pichot, Philippe Hamon, Sylvie Duchesne, Françoise Labaune-Jean, Stéphane Jean, Gaétan Le Cloirec, Stefania Milano, Manuel Trost, Sven Steinbrenner, Marine Marchal, Céline Guilbeau-Frugier, Norbert Telmon, Éric Crubézy, Klervia Jaouen, The final conflict of Anne of Brittany: fixing mass grave thru an interdisciplinary capability (paleopathology, anthropobiology, history, extra than one isotopes and radiocarbon relationship), PLOS ONE

Clément P. Bataille, Klervia Jaouen, Stefania Milano, Manuel Trost, Sven Steinbrenner, Éric Crubézy, Rozenn Colleter, Triple Sulfur-Oxygen-Strontium Isotopes Probabilistic Geographic Assignment of Archaeological Stays the teach of a Contemporary Sulfur Isoscape of Western Europe, PLOS ONE

Read Extra


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here