Staffordshire University logo
STORE - Staffordshire Online Repository

The application of quantitative petrography and macroscopic colour change in a comparative analysis of Roman and Anglo-Saxon cremation practices

Carroll, Emily and SQUIRES, Kirsty (2020) The application of quantitative petrography and macroscopic colour change in a comparative analysis of Roman and Anglo-Saxon cremation practices. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology. ISSN 1047-482X

[img] Text
Carroll_Squires_Application_of_Quant_Petrog_Accepted.docx - AUTHOR'S ACCEPTED Version (default)
Available under License All Rights Reserved.

Download (84kB)

Abstract or description

The microscopic examination of burned bone has allowed cremation research to infer a wealth of information concerning burning practices and pyre technology from archaeological contexts. Recently, a new approach for quantifying the microscopic heat-induced alterations in burned bone to categorise burning intensity using petrography has been developed within histomorphological studies. The following study is the first application of quantitative petrography to examine cremated remains from two archaeological contexts, with the aim of comparing funerary practices from Roman Britain and Anglo-Saxon England. Fifteen burials from the Roman cemetery of Folly Lane, Hertfordshire and sixteen burials from the Anglo-Saxon cemetery of Elsham, North Lincolnshire were studied, with individuals ranging in age and sex. Analysis revealed a mix of burning intensities, with the majority of the Roman samples from Folly Lane (n = 10, 66.7%) achieving temperatures over 1000˚C. In contrast, the Anglo-Saxon samples from Elsham showed greater diversity in burning intensity, with only six (37.5%) reaching temperatures in excess of 1000˚C. The discussion suggests this differentiation is due to the use of ustores, or profession cremators at the Roman town of Verulamium; a custom that has been referenced amongst the Roman elite in literary sources. This assessment demonstrates how quantitative petrography combined with macroscopic colour change is an effective assessment of burning intensities from archaeological burned bone, and should be applied on a larger scale, with a greater sample size across more sites.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Carroll, Emily and SQUIRES, Kirsty (2020) The application of quantitative petrography and macroscopic colour change in a comparative analysis of Roman and Anglo-Saxon cremation practices. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology. ISSN 1047-482X, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1002/oa.2918. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions
Faculty: School of Law, Policing and Forensics > Criminal Justice and Forensic Science
Depositing User: Kirsty SQUIRES
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2020 14:59
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2020 10:07
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/6434

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

DisabledGo Staffordshire University is a recognised   Investor in People. Sustain Staffs
Legal | Freedom of Information | Site Map | Job Vacancies
Staffordshire University, College Road, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire ST4 2DE t: +44 (0)1782 294000