The authors of a recent artcile published in PLOS ONE aimed to determine if skeletons in three graves from a medieval site at Nimes, France are related to the Muslim presence in France in the 8th century. Although the early medieval Muslim presence in the Iberian Peninsula is well documented, scientists have less evidence of the Muslim expansion north of the Pyrenees.
The burials appear to have followed Islamic rites, including the position of the body and the head orientation towards mecca. They also found genetic evidence indicating their paternal lineage may show North African ancestry. Radiocarbon dating shows that the skeletons were likely from the 7th-9th centuries. Given all of these data, the authors propose that the skeletons from the Nimes burials belonged to Berbers and were part of the Arab expansion in the 8th Century.