The taphonomic and archaeothantological potentials of diagenetic alterations of archaeological bone

Booth, Thomas J. and Brönnimann, David and Madgwick, Richard and Portmann, Cordula. (2022) The taphonomic and archaeothantological potentials of diagenetic alterations of archaeological bone. In: The Routledge handbook of archaeothanatology. Bioarchaeology of mortuary behaviour. London, pp. 580-599.

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Bone is a dynamic substrate in life (Lanyon and Rubin, 1984), after death (Hedges, 2002; Kendall et al., 2018) and even after fossilisation (Saitta et al., 2018). After an organism dies, the bone is transformed by a myriad of physical, chemical and biological processes (Hedges, 2002; Madgwick and Mulville, 2012; Madgwick, 2014; Villagran et al., 2017; Kendall et al., 2018). These transformations may take place during the decomposition of the body itself (Child, 1995; Bell, Skinner and Jones, 1996; White and Booth, 2014; Delannoy et al., 2018), as a result of socio-cultural practices which interfere with processes of decomposition (Jans et al., 2004; Nielsen-Marsh et al., 2007; Madgwick, 2010; White and Booth, 2014) or transform the bone indelibly (e.g. cremation; Hanson and Cain, 2007; Lebon, et al., 2010; Gonçalves, Thompson and Cunha, 2011; Squires et al., 5812011), as well as longer-term interactions between the bone and its depositional environment (Nielsen-Marsh and Hedges, 2000; Hedges, 2002; Reiche et al., 2003; Smith et al., 2007; Turner-Walker and Jans, 2008; Turner-Walker and Peacock, 2008). Strictly speaking, bone diagenesis refers to post-sedimentary taphonomic processes resulting in bone fossilisation or destruction. However, certain pre-sedimentary alterations of bone (i.e. heating) are often referred to as diagenetic, and the extent to which other transformations of bone defined as diagenetic occur pre- or post-deposition is poorly defined; therefore for convenience, all such physico-chemical changes described here are referred to a as diagenetic. Each of these processes transforms the microstructural and chemical properties of a bone in characteristic ways; therefore, ancient bone maintains an imprint of the diagenetic events to which it has been exposed, providing novel taphonomic information from bodies and bones and potential information about funerary practices.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Umweltwissenschaften > Geoarchäologie (Rentzel)
UniBasel Contributors:Brönnimann, David
Item Type:Book Section, refereed
Book Section Subtype:Book Chapter
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Book item
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Last Modified:15 Feb 2023 13:37
Deposited On:15 Feb 2023 13:37

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