Bone calcination of different age groups in cremations from Bronze Age Hungary

Author(s): Heleinna Cruz; Jaime Ullinger; László Paja

Year: 2017


Bronze Age Hungary saw the advancement of trade which may have been a cause of the movement from egalitarian societies to more complex societies with increasing social inequality. Social inequality between regions in Hungary may be reflected in variation among funeral customs. Excavations from Békés 103, a Bronze Age cemetery in south-eastern Hungary, have uncovered 68 burials, most of which are cremations. This study focuses on color analysis (identified by Munsell Soil Color Charts) of the burned human bone from eleven cremation urns. Age may play a role in status differentiation, therefore subadults and adults were compared for level of calcination, indicating complete loss of the bone’s organic matrix due to the pyre’s high temperature. Preliminary results show a possible difference in calcination between subadult and adult cremations. Given that burials with greater calcination may indicate more energy being used in the maintenance of a funeral pyre; this suggests that age may play a role in mortuary behavior. These results may be helpful in understanding funerary customs of the Körös region when compared with the ceramic data associated with the burials.

Cite this Record

Bone calcination of different age groups in cremations from Bronze Age Hungary. Heleinna Cruz, Jaime Ullinger, László Paja. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431998)


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): 16823