Petra RAJIĆ ŠIKANJIĆ / Daria LOŽNJAK DIZDAR
(Institute for Anthropological Research, Institute of Archaeology, Zagreb, Croatia)
Keywords: Urnfield burials, Croatia, database
Knowledge about prehistoric societies comes mostly from archaeological correlates of prehistoric mortuary practices. Formal cemeteries, consisting of individual graves, appear in Europe by the beginning of the Bronze Age. Among the most prominent of them are the Urnfield cemeteries of the Central European Late Bronze Age. The systematic analysis of Urnfield burials from Croatia has rarely been conducted, especially regarding the anthropological analysis. Most of those analyses are limited to sex and age determination, lacking a synthetic treatment of anthropological and archaeological information.
In order to expand our current knowledge of Late Bronze Age mortuary practices and society, we introduced an interdisciplinary project combining physical anthropology and archaeology.
It will integrate analyses of burial features and associated artifacts with analyses of cremated human remains from several Urnfield cemeteries in northern Croatia, dated between 13th and 9th century BC.
A trial public-access database will be designed in order to archive the anthropological and archaeological data, as well as to distribute and promote our findings. The database will be designed to archive data, in various digital formats, including field records, raw archaeological and anthropological data generated in the laboratory, and results of post-excavation analyses. Its immediate purpose is to make the data readily available for analysis and to provide a standardized framework within which analyses will be undertaken. The aim is to provide a public resource that can be modified and expanded to include information from other Urnfield cemeteries, thus allowing comparative studies and analyses of larger samples from the wider geographic region of the southern Carpathian Basin.