Anthropological and physicochemical investigation of the burnt remains of tomb IX in the 'Sa Figu' hypogeal necropolis (Sassari, Italy) - early bronze age

G. Piga, A. Malgosa, V. Mazzarello, P. Bandiera, P. Melis, S. Enzo

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8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Excavations carried out in Tomb IX of the hypogeic necropolis of 'Sa Figu', near the village of Ittiri (Sassari, Italy), supplied burnt human bone remains and pottery unambiguously referred to the Early Bronze Age (characterised by the local culture of 'Bonnannaro'). Besides the anthropological study, we have investigated and evaluated the possibility of a funerary cremation practice in Sardinian pre-history, a subject that has previously not been considered from a scientific point of view. Making use of a calibration procedure based on X-ray diffraction (XRD) line-broadening analysis, related to the microstructural properties, it was possible to estimate the combustion temperature to which the fragmented bones were subjected. It was found that the studied bones reached temperatures varying from 400°C up to a maximum of 850°C. This spread of values suggested inhomogeneous combustion of the bones, which seems compatible with funerary cremation practices. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-177
JournalInternational Journal of Osteoarchaeology
Volume18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2008

Keywords

  • Anthropological study
  • Early Bronze Age
  • Funerary cremation practice
  • Hypogeal necropolis
  • X-ray diffraction (XRD)

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