Computed Tomography and Computed Radiography of late Bronze Age Cremation Urns from Denmark: An interdisciplinary attempt to develop methods applied in Bioarchaeological cremation research

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Lise Lock Harvig, Niels Lynnerup, Jannie Amsgaard Ebsen

To improve methods used to study prehistoric cremation rituals, cremation urns from the Danish late Bronze Age were examined using Computed Tomography and Computed Radiography (Digital X-ray). During microexcavation, the digital images were used as registration tool. Our results suggest that osteological ageing and sexing are more accurate when combining CT-images with excavated remains. Digital volume rendering further enables a compromised estimation of original cremation weight. Microexcavation is clearly a primary cause of bone fragmentation. Cremated remains affected by lower cremation intensity show markedly poorer preservation and recovery than white calcined fragments do. Thus post-excavation estimations of cremation intensity are systematically biased
Original languageEnglish
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)369-387
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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