The question of the attribution of this grave to the Muslim occupation remains

The question of the attribution of this grave to the

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The question of the attribution of this grave to the Muslim occupation remains open. It is also worth noting that this subtle archeological testimony echoes the absence of any noticeable genetic heritage from these Muslim groups in the modern-day French population. The genetic impact of the Muslim occupation on the European gene pool has been assessed by analyzing the extant European gene pool (mainly from Southern Europe). For example, the analysis of extant populations in Iberia has noted the presence of mitochondrial haplogroups of North African origin at low frequencies. Authors have suggested that these lineages may have resulted from the Muslim occupation of the Peninsula but also from a more ancient gene flow that may have occurred during prehistoric times [ 50 51 ]. Apart from the mitochondrial haplogroup H1, the maternal and paternal lineages detected in the three Nimes individuals are relatively rare in modern- day France [ 52 ]. In comparison to the Iberian Peninsula or Italy, it appears clear that the genetic impact of the Arab rule was less significant in France. Finally, several observations suggest that Muslim graves were not excluded from the funerary space or isolated. Thus, if the three Muslim graves of Nimes were not found in a cemetery, it is not necessarily a sign of exclusion from the community. During the early Middle Ages, the concept of Christian cemetery (understood as the cemetery for all Christians) was built progressively. All graves of Christians were not placed in a holy ground near a church and could have been scattered [ 35 ]. Additionally, several historians have proposed that the local populations in Narbonne (certainly in the region) could have accepted a type of protection and may have been allowed to preserve their laws and traditions under Muslim domination [ 17 , 53 54 ]. If the funerary discoveries at Nimes do not offer answers to these questions, they support the complexity of the relationship between communities during this period, which cannot be summarized in a simple opposition between Christians and Muslims. Conclusion Using a multidisciplinary approach that combines history, archeology, anthropology and palaeogenomics, we discuss the first early medieval Muslim graves discovered in an area north of the Pyrenees. Although a Muslim presence in Septimania was already known through textual evidence, the complete analysis of the graves provides new data concerning the first groups of Muslims that arrived in France. Notably, the analyses confirm the Berber origin of some of the first Muslim troops spreading through Europe and also indicate the co-existence of communities in Nimes practicing Christian and Muslim funerary customs without any clear partition of their respective funerary spaces.
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