The "Rich Athenian Lady" Was Pregnant: The Anthropology of a Geometric Tomb Reconsidered

by Maria A. Liston and John K. Papadopoulos

Hesperia, Volume 73, Issue 1
Page(s): 7-38
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3182017
Year: 2004


Recent reexamination of the cremated remains in the celebrated tomb of the “rich Athenian lady” brought to light the presence of a fetus four to eight weeks short of full term and established that the adult female died during pregnancy or premature childbirth. The physical anthropology of mother and child is reviewed and a facial reconstruction of the deceased woman presented. Other examples of pregnancy and death in the Greek world are discussed. The discovery of a fetus together with the adult female fundamentally changes the interpretation of this tomb and highlights the importance of skeletal evidence in the study of demography and social structure.