Cremations represent complex social processes where, sometimes, the remains of several individuals may end up in the same urn, either intentionally or accidentally. In grave 11 of Court-Saint-Étienne, a Late Bronze Age – Early Iron Age cremation site in the region of Belgium, osteoarchaeological research identified the remains of at least three individuals. However, osteoarchaeological analyses alone are insufficient to accurately estimate the Minimum Number of Individuals (MNI) in a grave. To better identify the number of people, present in a cremation deposit, strontium isotope analysis emerges as a valuable complementary method, as significantly varying 87Sr/86Sr are not only indicative of mobility but may also indicate the presence of different individuals.
This study demonstrates that sampling multiple skeletal elements, representing various life stages, can aid in reconstructing life histories and in providing additional insights into the MNI of a cremation deposit, using grave 11 as a case study. From this urn, 3 petrous parts, 2 teeth, 2 ribs and 7 diaphyseal fragments were sampled and subjected to strontium isotope analysis. The results reveal a range of possibilities, spanning from three individuals with significant mobility throughout their lives to the potential presence of up to six individuals. While definitive conclusions remain challenging, this study shows the value of using strontium isotope analysis and a multiskeletal sampling method in advancing our understanding of the complexity of cremation practices and the (un)intentional treatment of cremated remains.
Originele taal-2English
TitelAbstract book Cremations In Archaeology 2024
Plaats van productieLjubljana, Slovenia
UitgeverijUniversity of Ljubljana Press
Aantal pagina's1
StatusPublished - 7 mei 2024
EvenementCremations In Archaeology (CIA '24) - Mestni Muzej, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Duur: 7 mei 202410 mei 2024
Congresnummer: '24


ConferenceCremations In Archaeology (CIA '24)
Verkorte titelCIA
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