A variety of preconceptions have shaped the methodologies used in the study of Merovingian mortuary remains. Because of the inherently malleable nature of the material evidence and changing interpretive frameworks for the processing of this evidence, antiquaries, historians, and early archaeologists have had a large degree of freedom in drawing conclusions about the populations and customs of early medieval Gaul. Their objectives in initiating this research have often evoked the concerns of their era. Merovingian-period artifacts and skeletal fragments constitute a new medium through which European scholars have explored their origins.
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