Human soft tissue preservation in the Cova des Pas site (Minorca Bronze Age)

Gemma Prats-Muñoz, Ignasi Galtés, Núria Armentano, Sandra Cases, Pedro Luis Fernández, Assumpció Malgosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The preservation process of soft tissues in an archeological context is mainly unknown because they occur only in truly exceptional situations. The Cova des Pas is a Bronze Age site in Minorca where the special conditions enabled the preservation of some soft tissues associated with 66 individuals. This finding allows the study of the preservation process that took place by means of the analysis of the histological and chemical characteristics of the tissues. Our results show that the preservation mechanism was the adipocere, because the fatty acids profile shows higher concentration of saturated than unsaturated fatty acids. The evidence indicates that the kind of funerary ritual and the environmental conditions favored this preservation. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4701-4710
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • Histology
  • Mummification
  • Saponification
  • Soft tissue
  • Taphonomy


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