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Research Groningen Institute of Archaeology Research

Mycenaean Burial Traditions of Achaea: An Anthropological and Bioarchaeological Approach

Olivia A. Jones
Olivia A. Jones

O. (Olivia) A. Jones, M.A.


Promotor: Prof. S. Voutsaki

Period of employment: 1 September 2012 - 30 September 2016

Financed by: GIA

Project description:

The aim of my dissertation project is to utilize skeletal, anthropological, and archaeological evidence to understand the meanings of secondary burial in Mycenaean Achaea. Secondary burial is commonly defined as the cultural process of exhumation and reburial of a human body

The Mycenaean era (ca. 1680-1065 BC) is frequently characterized by increased international relations with other cultures of the eastern Mediterranean, a militaristic heightening observed in weaponry and town fortification, and as a grand period of elaborate and monumental burial architecture. The mortuary evidence from this time undergoes dramatic changes, especially in the later period as the shift to secondary burial becomes the norm.

The project will revolve around asking these main questions:

  1. How is secondary burial a varied mortuary tradition in Mycenaean burial and within the region of Achaea?
  2. How does secondary burial and its associated processes affect human skeletal material?
  3. Why is secondary burial a characteristic of Mycenaean mortuary practices?

These questions will be addressed with an integration of osteology, theory and archaeology. The project will analyze human skeletal material from secondary burials and interpret the material with anthropological theories such as social bioarchaeology, personhood, and materiality to break down the elements, both physical and metaphysical, of secondary burial. The goal is to understand the uses and meanings of secondary burial within the context of Mycenaean Achaea. The three study sites included in this project are Petroto, Portes and Chalandritsa. All of which are located in the northwest Peloponnese, in the region of Achaea.

Last modified:23 July 2018 1.29 p.m.