Applying isotope analyses of cremated human bones in archaeological research – a review.



Słowa kluczowe:

isotopes, cremated human bones, radiocarbon dating, funerary practices, migration


Numerous experiments have recently been conducted on burnt bones in order to develop methods of isotope analysis which would be useful in archaeological research. Since the results of these studies are not yet widely known, this review presents their potential applications in investigations of human remains from cremation burials. Radiocarbon dating of burnt osteological materials is discussed, including problems related to the “old wood effect”. Also considered is the analysis of light stable isotopes, i.e. δ13C, δ15N and δ18O, which is unsuitable for palaeodietary determinations, but useful as a source of information about certain parameters of funeral pyres. Tracing geographical origins and human mobility is possible by means of the analysis of strontium isotope ratio 87Sr/86Sr. Since an understanding of high-temperature-induced transformations of bone structure and chemical composition is important for these considerations, a detailed account of the processes is given as an introduction.


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Jak cytować

Wolska, B. (2020). Applying isotope analyses of cremated human bones in archaeological research – a review. Analecta Archaeologica Ressoviensia, 15, 7–16.