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An evaluation of preservation, sex, and age using cremains weight and volume from a Bronze Age cemetery in Hungary

Author(s): Pranavi Ramireddy ; Julia Giblin ; Jaime Ullinger ; László Paja

Year: 2017

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In well-preserved osteoarchaeological samples, numerous anthropological methods are employed to determine age at death, biological sex, diet, and pathologies. However, with cremated human bone (cremains), determining demographic information is complicated by fragmentation and post-depositional damage. A simple way to assess variability in demographics, taphonomy, and burial treatment in cremains is to measure total bone weight and volume, which can then be examined in light of sex, age-at-death, and preservation. In this study, we present results from the analysis of cremains weight and volume from the Békés 103 cemetery. Békés 103 is a Bronze Age cemetery and settlement in Eastern Hungary; 68 burials have been excavated, a majority of which are cremations interred in urns. As predicted, well- preserved burials have higher cremains weights and volumes (with a notable exception), and young subadults (0 – 6 years) had lower weights than adults. Interestingly, females had variation in weight and volume, while the few confirmed males clustered together and did not necessarily have a higher weight or volume. This technique has potential for identifying anomalous individuals with respect to taphonomy, sex, and age.

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An evaluation of preservation, sex, and age using cremains weight and volume from a Bronze Age cemetery in Hungary. Pranavi Ramireddy, Julia Giblin, Jaime Ullinger, László Paja. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431993)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15503

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