© 2015 Taylor & Francis. The Bronze Age in prehistoric Europe represents a perfect case study for analyzing phenomena of cultural change and adoption of innovation in small-scale societies. Specifically, we focus on the large-scale introduction and development of the cremation rite in the second millennium bc. Traditionally, the origin of the so-called ‘Urnfield culture’ has been placed in the Carpatho-Danubian area. From this region cremation burials would have expanded across space and over time towards western and southern territories. In this article an innovative approach is adopted in order to quantify this phenomenon. Through the Bayesian analysis of radiocarbon-dated funerary contexts located in Switzerland and in Catalonia and included in the EUBAR database, the ritual change in these two different regions is modeled in a probabilistic way.
- Bayesian analysis
- Bronze Age
- inhumation-cremation transition