Munsell vs. Hounsfield? A methodological comparison in assessing cremation temperatures of human bone
The identification of the temperature at which bone was burned is an important technique for both archaeological and forensic applications that deal with cremated skeletal material. Known color changes in burned bone can be systematically quantified using a Munsell Soil Color Book and associated with known temperature ranges at which the material was burned. Non-invasive techniques, such as computed tomography (CT) scanning may be able to provide analogous information for archaeological material prior to excavation. In this study, we compare Munsell data with “Hounsfield Units”(a measurement of density) from CT scans of cremated human bone from the Bronze Age cemetery Békés 103, located in Eastern Hungary. Preliminary results indicate that the “Hounsfield Unit” values increase with bone that was fired at higher temperatures (as identified using the Munsell technique).
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
- Society for American Archaeology 81st Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL (2016) •
- Studying the Past with Fragments from the Fire: Student Research on an NSF-REU Field School
Cite this Record
Munsell vs. Hounsfield? A methodological comparison in assessing cremation temperatures of human bone. Edward Bormann, Matthew Capece, László Paja, Julia Giblin. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404303)
min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;