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The Anthropolgy Department is dedicated to the conservation and study of existing burial grounds in Mértola.

The study of graves and human remains allows for the characterization of ancient societies, especially their lifestyle, religious beliefs, funeral rites and, in some cases, the activities that the population was involved in. Through the typology of the graves, the organization of the burial ground, the funeral ritual used and the archaeological spoil associated with this, we get to know the world of the dead and consequently the way in which the society of a specific chronological era reacted.

Analysis of the bones of a group of individuals belonging to the same society, informs us about the composition of the age groups and proportion of the sexes. These are essential elements for a demographic analysis, allowing us to calculate the average life expectancy.

Although only a small number of illnesses leave traces on the skeleton, it is possible through a palaeo – pathalogical analysis to identify some of these illnesses. In this way they will allow us to get to know aspects of daily life of these individuals.