Kevin Salesse

Kevin Salesse
Vrije Universiteit Brussel | VUB · Analytical, Environmental and Geo-Chemistry

PhD

About

59
Publications
9,667
Reads
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169
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2017 - present
Université Libre de Bruxelles
Position
  • PostDoc Position
March 2016 - September 2016
University of South Florida
Position
  • PostDoc Position
October 2010 - December 2015
University of Bordeaux
Position
  • PhD in Biological Anthropology
Education
October 2010 - December 2015
University of Bordeaux
Field of study
  • Bioloigcal Anthroplogy
September 2008 - June 2010
University of Bordeaux
Field of study
  • Biological Anthropology
September 2005 - June 2008

Publications

Publications (59)
Article
Full-text available
The high temperatures reached during cremation lead to the destruction of organic matter preventing the use of traditional isotopic methods for dietary reconstructions. Still, strontium isotope (87 Sr/ 86 Sr) and concentration ([Sr]) analyses of cremated human remains offer a novel way to assess changing consumption patterns in past populations tha...
Article
Full-text available
Cremated human remains are commonly found in the archaeological records, especially in Europe during the Metal Ages and the Roman period. Due to the high temperatures reached during cremation (up to 1000°C), most biological information locked in the isotopic composition of different tissues is heavily altered or even destroyed. The recent demonstra...
Article
Full-text available
Three decades have passed since the publication in 1991 of the first use of stable isotope analysis applied to a Brazilian archaeological context. Despite being still mainly applied to palaeodietary research, stable isotope analysis in archaeology has been diversified in Brazil. In the last five years, an increasing number of studies has addressed...
Article
Studies of funerary practices provide information about many aspects of death in past societies. However, only limited archaeological evidence documents the circumstances under which cremations occurred and the person(s) who were performing the funerary rituals. Lying at the border between Atlantic and Continental cultural traditions, the Scheldt a...
Article
Full-text available
Cremation is a complex mortuary practice, involving a number of activities of the living towards the dead before, during, and after the destruction of the bodily soft tissues by fire. The limiting information concerning these behavioral patterns obtained from the pyre remains and/or cremation deposits prevents the reconstruction of the handling of...
Article
The funerary Bronze Age culture in the Belgian part of the Meuse valley is poorly understood due to the challenging nature of cremation deposits that dominate the archaeological record. Only a few sites were analysed in that region, limiting the possibilities to reconstruct the development of Bronze Age populations in Belgium. Due to its good prese...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The CRUMBEL project brings together researchers from three Belgian universities and the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage. The purpose of this collaboration is to study the Belgian archaeological collections of cremated bones dating from the Neolithic till the Merovingian period. Th e project aims to improve knowledge concerning the living cond...
Article
Rome saw its number of foreign individuals increase considerably as the empire expanded. These foreigners arrived as either free persons or slaves from the newly conquered provinces and near-frontier zones and came to influence the whole life of the city. Yet relatively little is known about their life histories. In this study, we bring direct evid...
Article
Full-text available
This study aims to better understand the development of group identity, mobility, and health in the Early Medieval Meuse Valley. This is achieved by combining existing demographic and palaeopathological information from 73 cremation deposits from Echt, the Netherlands, with new strontium isotope ratios (⁸⁷Sr/⁸⁶Sr) and strontium concentrations ([Sr]...
Article
Objectives This study aims to increase the rate of correctly sexed calcined individuals from archaeological and forensic contexts. This is achieved by evaluating sexual dimorphism of commonly used and new skeletal elements via uni‐ and multi‐variate metric trait analyses. Materials and methods Twenty‐two skeletal traits were evaluated in 86 indivi...
Article
Studies of funerary practices provide information about many aspects of death in past societies. However, only limited archaeological evidence documents the circumstances under which cremations occurred and the person(s) who were performing the funerary rituals. Lying at the border between Atlantic and Continental cultural traditions, the Scheldt a...
Article
Objectives The Falys–Prangle‐method assesses age‐related morphological changes to the sternal clavicle end (SCE), enabling the observation of mature adults from the 5th decade onwards in unburnt human skeletal remains. The aim of this study is to investigate the applicability of the Falys–Prangle‐method on burnt human remains. Materials and method...
Article
Full-text available
The adoption of a new funerary ritual with all its social and cognitive meanings is of great importance to understanding social transformations of past societies. The first known occurrence of cremation in the territory corresponding to modern Belgium dates back to the Mesolithic period. From the end of the Neolithic onward, the practice of cremati...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
L’article suivant est un résumé des résultats préliminaires des crémations étudiées dans le cadre du projet CRUMBEL (Crémations, urnes et mobilité, la dynamique du peuplement de la Belgique - Projet EOS N°30999782) qui seront publiés dans une prochaine monographie dédiée au site de Pommeroeul.
Article
Full-text available
The CRUMBEL project aims to investigate the mobility of the former population in Belgium from the Neolithic period until the Early Middle Ages. To reach these research goals different topics will be studied. In a preliminary phase, the ancient collections of cremated bone will be documented. A selection of these funerary sites will be studied to un...
Article
Objective: This paper aims at investigating the possible existence of isotopic offsets in δ13Ccol and δ15Ncol values in relation to tertiary syphilis. Material: Based on materials from the 19th c. A.D. deriving from the pathological-anatomical reference collection (the Jedlička collection) of the National Museum in Prague (Czech Republic), a com...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
If post-cremation life histories of cremains and cremation-related deposits can be readily investigated as they refer to the last handling of the deceased, the treatment of the corpse during the burning act itself is little addressed by textual sources and often discussed in anthropological studies. Among the topics discussed are questions whether...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Les rapports isotopiques du carbone et de l’azote mesurés sur le collagène osseux (δ13Ccol, δ15Ncol) sont couramment utilisés pour appréhender les comportements alimentaires des populations humaines passées et présentes. Ces reconstitutions alimentaires peuvent toutefois être remises en cause en raison de l’état de santé des individus étudiés, en p...
Conference Paper
The ancient Greek world emerged during the Bronze Age and was part of a network of cultures intertwined within the Mediterranean region. Its development was determined by multiple causes but heavily influenced by close interactions with the peoples and cultures of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Ancient Greek political and social dynamics have been prim...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Recently, the number of isotopic studies conducted in archaeology have increased significantly. Since 2010, no fewer than 300 articles have been released in esteemed peer-reviewed journals, for a total of about 30,000 published isotope values. This is clear evidence for the dynamism of the field of study which can present challenges with regard to...
Article
This paper describes IsoArcH, a new web-based database of isotopic data for bioarchaeological samples from the Graeco-Roman world and its margins. IsoArcH was designed as a cooperative platform for the dissemination of isotopic data and associated archaeological information. IsoArcH follows the open access model and is freely accessible online (htt...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Les comportements alimentaires des populations humaines passées sont aujourd’hui communément appréhendés via l’étude des rapports isotopiques du carbone et de l’azote (δ13C and δ15N) mesurés sur le collagène osseux. Si les signaux isotopiques biogéniques des os sont relativement bien compris chez les individus sains, de nombreuses inconnues demeure...
Conference Paper
IsoArcH is a new open-access and cooperative web-based repository for isotopic data and associated archaeological information of bioarchaeological samples from the Graeco-Roman world and its fringes (http://www.isoarch.eu). Created for paleodietary, paleomobility and paleoenvironmental reconstruction research purposes, IsoArcH gathers up 17,000 pub...
Conference Paper
Isotopic proxies (e.g. δ13C, δ15N, δ18O, δ34S, 87Sr/86Sr, 14C) are increasingly applied in Roman archaeology to provide additional valuable information on a wide range of past human activities. Examples include, among others, the reconstruction of past human subsistence or mobility and animal or crop management practices. As isotopic data for the R...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Les isotopes stables sont aujourd’hui des outils d’investigation couramment employés pour appréhender les régimes alimentaires, les schémas de mobilité, les activités agricoles, les pratiques d’élevage, et les changements environnementaux durant l’Antiquité. Face à l’augmentation exponentielle des études abordant ces thématiques et des données isot...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
IsoArcH is a new web-based database of isotopic data (δ13C, δ15N, δ18O, δ34S and 87Sr/86Sr) for bioarchaeological samples from European, Middle Eastern and North African contexts dating from the Iron Age, the Classical Antiquity and the late Antiquity. Created for paleodietary, paleomobility and paleoenvironmental reconstruction purposes, IsoArcH c...
Thesis
Abstract: An assembly of unpublished complex plural burials (1st-3rd cent. AD.) was discovered and partially excavated, between 2003 and 2010 in the central region called X of the catacomb of Saints Peter and Marcellinus in Rome. It contains several hundred individuals which were buried according to uncommon funeral practices following a mortality...
Thesis
Entre 2003 et 2010, dans la région centrale nommée X de la catacombe des Saints Pierre-et-Marcellin à Rome, a été découvert et en partie fouillé un ensemble de sépultures plurielles inédites (Ier-IIIe s. ap. J.-C.) contenant plusieurs centaines d’individus, lesquels ont été inhumés selon des pratiques funéraires singulières à la suite d’un épisode...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Between 2003 and 2010, unpublished sepulchral assemblies have been discovered and excavated in the central region, called X, of the catacomb of Saints Peter and Marcellinus (Rome, 1st-3rd cent. AD.). These assemblies have proven to be atypical and complex plural burial. Hundreds of the dead were buried extremely rigorous according to uncommon funer...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The new evaluation of the skeletal remains and the archaeological documentation from the Saint Benedict cemetery in Prague is a unique opportunity for a bioarchaeological analysis of past mortality crises. The rescue archaeological excavation (held in 1971) and the first osteological analysis (Hanakova et al., 1988) showed in the baroque phase V (1...
Conference Paper
Les analyses biogéochimiques réalisées sur les restes humains découverts en contexte archéologique représentent un puissant outil d’investigation permettant de mieux comprendre les modes de vie, et plus particulièrement les pratiques alimentaires, des populations anciennes. Appréhender la variabilité de l’alimentation des populations de l’Antiquité...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The catacomb of Sts Peter and Marcellinus is one of Rome’s largest catacombs which contains 25,000 graves dated from the 3rd – 5th century AD. In 2002, seven burial chambers with an atypical construction were discovered in the central area of the catacomb. Excavations revealed several mass graves where up to 3,000 corpses were laid together accordi...
Conference Paper
The mass-burials from the cemetery of St. Benedict in Prague (Svatý Benedikt, Praha, Czech Republic, 17th-18th centuries) provide an outstanding skeletal assemblage for the study of mortality crises from the past. In the Baroque period, St. Benedict was a Premonstratensian canons church and monastery, a dependency of the mother house of Strahov mos...
Conference Paper
Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_CqfQkwYac Historian Dr Michael Scott unlocks the secrets of a mysterious tomb recently discovered in one of Rome's famous catacombs. Found by accident following a roof collapse, the tombs contained over 2,000 skeletons piled on top of each other. This was quite unlike any other underground tomb seen in...
Article
Full-text available
Funerary practices and bioarchaeological (sex and age) data suggest that a mortality crisis linked to an epidemic episode occurred during the fifth phase of the St. Benedict cemetery in Prague (Czech Republic). To identify this mass mortality episode, we reconstructed individual life histories (dietary and mobility factors), assessed the population...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Stable isotope analysis is commonly used to study diet and residential mobility of past populations. The reliability of isotopic values of the mineral fraction of bones found in archaeological context is regularly questioned because of potential isotopic effects caused by the diagenetic alterations and the chemical treatments of bone apatite. The a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Le traitement statistique des caractères discrets dentaires en contexte de sépulture plurielle, soulève de façon récurrente un certain nombre de problèmes concernant la prise en compte ou non des dents isolées. La structure généralement très lacunaire des données limite de plus le choix et la puissance des procédures statistiques destinées à tester...
Conference Paper
Les analyses des teneurs en isotopes stables sont couramment employées pour étudier l’alimentation et la mobilité résidentielle des populations du passé. Or, la fiabilité des valeurs isotopiques obtenues sur la fraction minérale (apatite) des os retrouvés en contexte archéologique est régulièrement remise en question en raison d’éventuelles modific...
Conference Paper
Des ensembles funéraires particuliers correspondant aux dépôts simultanés de plusieurs centaines de défunts ont été découverts en 2003 dans le secteur central de la catacombe des Saints-Pierre-et-Marcellin à Rome (Ier-IIIe s. ap. J.-C.). Les études archéo-anthropologiques ont démontré que ces individus étaient décédés lors de crises de mortalité su...
Conference Paper
The catacomb of Saints Peter and Marcellinus located in the south-east of Rome approximately contains 25 000 graves dated from the 3rd to the 5th century AD. Seven newly discovered rooms having an unusual organization in the heart of the catacomb were investigated in 2003. Excavations of these rooms revealed a mass grave, where 3 000 corpses were l...
Conference Paper
The catacomb of Saints Peter and Marcellinus located in the south-east of Rome approximately contains 25 000 graves dated from the 3rd to the 5th century AD. Seven newly discovered rooms having an unusual organization in the heart of the catacomb were investigated in 2003. Excavations of these rooms revealed a mass grave, where 3000 corpses were la...
Conference Paper
Fouillé en 1971, le cimetière Saint-Benoît de Prague (République tchèque) a fourni 845 squelettes datés entre le XIe et le XVIIIe siècle. La diversité des pratiques funéraires pendant la dernière phase, à savoir la présence de sépultures individuelles et multiples...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
The project covers several applications of stable isotope analysis enabling us to refine the reconstruction of diet and agricultural practices of past populations. The project will focus on following main goals: 1) to analyse in detail the diet of infants in the population in question; 2) to describe the isotopic characteristics of plant dietary resources; 3) to enhance, using modern skeletal samples with known osteobiographic data, our knowledge of the impact of physiological and pathophysiological factors on the stable carbon and nitrogen isotopic values in bone collagen and thus to increase the testimonial power of isotopic analysis in an archaeological context.
Project
The CRUMBEL project studies the collections of cremated bone found in Belgium dating from the Neolithic to the Early-Medieval period using state of the art analytical and geochemical analyses. Recording the Belgian collections in a database including as much osteoarchaeological information represents a crucial part of this project. Until now the dominance of cremation as funeral practice between 3000 BC and 700 AD in Northern Europe led to limited information on migrations and living conditions. CRUMBEL will greatly improve our current understanding of how people lived in Belgium. https://www.crumbel.org/
Project
IsoArcH is a new web-based database of isotopic data (δ13C, δ15N, δ18O, δ34S and 87Sr/86Sr, etc.) for bioarchaeological samples from all time periods and geographic regions. Created for paleodietary, paleomobility and paleoenvironmental reconstruction purposes, IsoArcH compiled to this day published isotopic data and related archaeological information (site, chronology, funerary structure, biological identification and sample information) for over 7,000+ human, 3,300+ animal, and 500+ plant remains, as well as 10 organic residues from 450 sites. All these data have been georeferenced to be displayed on ancient world maps generated through IsoArcH, and placed into their geopolitical background. IsoArcH was designed as a cooperative platform for researchers and a broader audience for the dissemination of isotopic data and related archaeological information. IsoArcH follows the open access model and is available online at http://www.isoarch.eu. IsoArcH is continuously being improved and remains open to further expansions.