During the Early Iron Age (11th – 7th century BC) urn cremations in central Macedonia have been revealed in a few cemeteries (e.g., Polichni, Axioupolis, Nikiti/Ai Giannis, Koukos, Makrygialos, Nea Efkarpia, Nea Philadelphia, Torone, Ierissos), and often they co-occur with inhumations. Polichni is located in the west suburbs of Thessaloniki, Greece, and contained at least 82 secondary cremations in urn-burials. The initial place of the burning events is unknown, while the cremated bones were deposited following the combustion and collection of the skeletal remains. Preliminary macroscopic investigation has revealed to date interesting variabilities in bone alterations and fragmentation due to the effect of fire and the manipulation of the cremated remains after the combustion of the bodies. The osteoarchaeological study of the human remains, in the framework of the TEFRA Project: ‘The technology and the bio-anthropology of the use of the fire on human remains in the Aegean’ aims to assess the treatment strategies for burnt bones and investigate the functional and/or social factors that correlated to and affected the funerary ritual in which fire was involved. The poster includes the preliminary results of the preservation and fragmentation of the bone assemblage, highlighting the effects of fire and exploring the funerary strategies of the population. Biological and social indicators (minimum number of individuals, estimation of biological sex, age of death, etc.) of the urn burials will be investigated and discussed within their archaeological context (pottery, artifacts, stratigraphy).
The proposed poster summarizes the preliminary results of the macroscopic examination carried out in selected cremations from Iron Age Central Macedonia. The discrete regional variability expressed in the mortuary picture of the Late Bronze Age would acquire a more standardized form in Iron Age Macedonia, in which, from the 11th c. onwards, a range of social identities were developing in local communities. Cremations were placed in urns; often, inhumations and cremations in tumuli or flat cemeteries were attested. In the framework of the TEFRA project, the effect of fire on selected cremains from Iron Age Macedonia will be investigated according to two dimensions: 1) the technology of the use of fire, and 2) the bio-anthropology that is the demographic synthesis and the biological attributes of the people whose bodies were subject to burning.