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talad jan 13 - The Archaeologist Looks at Death 12:30 PM...

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The Archaeologist Looks at Death 1/6/11 12:30 PM January 13, 2011 - Preservation is improved by any factors that are: Very wet areas (water-logged sites) o Greater preservation of soft tissue o Increased preservation in water that is anaerobic (low oxygen content) o Latrines, wells Anaerobic conditions o Peat bogs o Bog bodies – bones demineralize, soft bodies, often squashed flat (internal organs are preserved) ! Buried naked? – Differential preservation Very cold conditions (frozen bodies) o Glaciers o Mountain tops - When preservation is good, can sometimes perform autopsies on the bodies A good preservation consists of: o Bone o Tissue o Soft organic tissues A bad preservation consists of: o No bone o Bone “meal” - Differential preservation Some things preserve better than others Bodies are not buried naked – product of differential preservation o Wool and leather preserve, linen does not Can affect what an archaeologist sees at the grave site
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  • Spring '11
  • differential preservation, perishable grave goods, o Bones, burial sequence Sequence, Soft organic tissues

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