Changes in funerary practices of Belgian Late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age Urnfields.

Stamataki, E. (Speaker), Ioannis Kontopoulos (Contributor), Salesse, K. (Contributor), Sabaux, C. (Contributor), Veselka, B. (Contributor), Hlad, M. (Contributor), Annaert, H. (Contributor), Mathieu Boudin (Contributor), Giacomo Capuzzo (Contributor), Sarah Dalle (Contributor), Amanda Sengeløv (Contributor), Eugène Warmenbol (Contributor), Martine Vercauteren (Contributor), Guy De Mulder (Contributor), Snoeck, C. (Contributor)

Activity: Talk or presentationTalk or presentation at a conference


Cremation was one of the main funeral practices if not the major one in Belgium during the Late Neolithic through to Early Medieval period (up to 700AD). This represents more than 3000 years of Belgian history including the crucial Late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age transition. The analysis of cremated bones plays a key role for understanding palaeodemography, taphonomy and the changes in funerary practices before, during and after that transition. The complexity of studying cremated human remains lies in the high state of fragmentation of the remains and the deformations they underwent during heating (up to 1000°C). Furthermore, the taphonomic damage and post excavation treatment of the remains can erase much of the information present on the bones. Combining a wide range of macroscopic and microscopic techniques offers the opportunity to look into changes in funerary practices through time and space, cremation conditions (oxidizing or reducing, temperature etc.), ante and post-cremation treatment of dead body, mobility, and diet.
The cremated bones from several Belgian Late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age Urnfields were studied using osteoarchaeological analysis combined with infrared (FTIR) and carbon and oxygen isotope analysis. In this paper, we will present and discuss the differences observed between the sites from the methodological and archaeological points of view.
Period27 Feb 2021
Event titleLUNULA: Archaeologia protohistorica
Event typeConference
Degree of RecognitionRegional