New developments for the study of cremated bone in archaeological contexts

Christophe Snoeck, Philippe Claeys, Steven Goderis, Niels De Winter, Nadine Mattielli, Rick Schulting, Julia Lee-Thorp, John Pouncett, Dominique Weis, Rhy McMillan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingMeeting abstract (Book)


Due to the very high temperatures reached during cremation (up to 1000ºC and more) it has generally been assumed that the traditional stable isotope methods used on unburned bone are not applicable to cremated bone. However, various studies have shown that cremated bone provides a reliable substrate for radiocarbon dating and strontium isotope analyses. This poster presents the results of on-going research on the carbon, oxygen and strontium isotope ratios of calcined bone (δ13Cap, δ18Oc, δ18Op, 87Sr/86Sr), REEs, infrared and µXRF analyses. By looking into these different parameters it is possible study landscape use and mobility patterns at sites where cremation was practiced. It also allows investigating changes from marine to terrestrial diets as well as cremation practices.

These new developments have been successfully applied to archaeological sites from Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Age Ireland and UK. This poster presents and compares the results from these different sites and discusses their implications and future research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUKAS 2017 Abstracts
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventUK Archaeological Science Meeting 2017 - UCL, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 May 20167 May 2016


ConferenceUK Archaeological Science Meeting 2017
Abbreviated titleUKAS 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

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