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Archaeology of Cremation: From Big Questions to Archaeological Excavation and Bioarchaeological Analysis

  • 29 Sep 2022
  • 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
  • Virtual

Archaeology of Cremation: From Big Questions to Archaeological Excavation and Bioarchaeological Analysis

Lecturer: Jessica I. Cerezo-Roman, PhD, RPA, University of Oklahoma

This workshop is designed for archaeologists and bioarchaeologists who want to learn about different excavation and laboratory analytical procedures that maximize time, data collection, and robust scientific rigor and ethical consideration when working with human remains. Cremation funeral customs are understudied in archaeological and bioarchaeology research. Cremation is a multi-stage process that involves preparation of the body, burning the body in a pyre, and often removal of remains into a secondary place of burial or secondary cremation deposit. If permitted by necessary agencies and affiliated communities, cremations are a fascinating transformative mortuary ritual that leaves archaeological traces and enormous evidence in human remains that can be analyzed. Detailed archaeological excavation combined with rigorous analysis of the human remains, including thermal alteration, estimation of age at death, biological sex, and determination of pathologies, can allow researchers to reconstruct different stages, variations, and social significance of cremation rituals to the decendent, mourners, and community through time and space.

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