CRIME – CRemation or Inhumation of ancient populations? A Multidisciplinary question at the European level

Project Details


From the Neolithic to the onset of Christianity, European funeral rites
included both cremation and inhumation. Although commonly
discussed in archaeology and anthropology, the reasons why some
individuals were cremated while others were inhumed remain largely
unknown. This project aims to shed new lights on this Pan-European
This research focuses on some of the most iconic Slovenian Bronze
and Iron Age burial grounds, where both funerary customs cooccurred, either simultaneously or interchangeably. This is extremely
rare and represents a unique opportunity for a large-scale
comparative investigation. State of the art analytical techniques
including isotope analyses, LIDAR and computed tomography, are
applied to provide a better understanding of these prehistoric
societies, currently limited mostly to archaeological data, material
culture and basic osteology. This approach allows a deeper
investigation into the changes of funerary rituals over time and
space, how, and most importantly, why they occurred.
The newly obtained results establish a baseline for future research
into the changes of funerary rituals of ancient Europeans. As most
research to date has focused on Northern and part of Western
Europe, broadening the research to Slovenia is strategic. Due to its
geographical location, Slovenia represents an important gateway
between SE and Central Europe, which has proven to be a cultural
nodal point since prehistoric periods
Effective start/end date1/01/2131/12/24

Flemish discipline codes

  • Bioarchaeology
  • Criminography and methods of criminological investigation
  • Gynaecology and obstetrics not elsewhere classified
  • Funerary archaeology
  • Geochemistry not elsewhere classified


  • Isotope Geochemistry