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Analysis of possible anatomical order in microexcavated Bronze Age funerary urn material from Hungary

Author(s): Alana Acuff ; Jaime Ullinger ; László Paja

Year: 2016

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On-going excavations conducted by the BAKOTA project at the Bronze Age cemetery of Békés 103 in Eastern Hungary have uncovered 69 human burials, the majority of which are cremated skeletal remains deposited in ceramic urns. Cremains are an often-overlooked archaeological resource as information regarding age at death, sex, and pathologies can be more difficult to assess after a body has been burned. While demographic information may be limited in this context, the stratigraphic distribution of bones within their burial contexts may inform us about the treatment of the deceased and their deposition in the archaeological record. This study sought to identify patterns of anatomical variation internal to discrete microstrata of one urn, Human Burial 54. Based on a preliminary analysis (Paja et al. 2014), we hypothesized that there would be a concentration of cranial elements within upper levels of the urn, whereas postcranial elements would be concentrated within lower levels. Bone fragments were evaluated by size, shape, and internal organization to determine anatomical association and statistics were generated for each level. Our results substantiate our hypothesis, with the ratio of cranial to postcranial elements decreasing in direct correlation with the microstratigraphic levels.

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Analysis of possible anatomical order in microexcavated Bronze Age funerary urn material from Hungary. Alana Acuff, Jaime Ullinger, László Paja. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404310)


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min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America