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Efthymia Nikita

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    <subfield code="a">&lt;p&gt;This document is the fourth in a series of guides aimed at promoting best practice in different aspects of archaeological&lt;br&gt;
science, produced by members of the Science and Technology in Archaeology and Culture Research Center&lt;br&gt;
(STARC) of The Cyprus Institute. The current document was largely developed in the context of two projects: People&lt;br&gt;
in Motion and Promised. The implementation of People in Motion involved the laboratory study of a large commingled&lt;br&gt;
and partially burned skeletal assemblage from Byzantine Amathus, Cyprus, which came to light in the context&lt;br&gt;
of excavations led by the Cypriot Department of Antiquities. Osteological work on this assemblage was co-funded&lt;br&gt;
by the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus through the Research and Innovation&lt;br&gt;
Foundation (EXCELLENCE/1216/0023). In addition, Promised aims at promoting archaeological sciences in the&lt;br&gt;
Eastern Mediterranean, with funding from the European Union&amp;rsquo;s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme&lt;br&gt;
under grant agreement No 811068.&lt;/p&gt;

The study of burned skeletal remains is particularly challenging due to the extensive alteration of the bones, manifesting&lt;br&gt;
as warping, discoloration, shrinkage, and fracturing. These macroscopic changes express underlying structural and&lt;br&gt;
chemical alterations. As a result, the application of traditional osteological methods (morphological, metric, chemical,&lt;br&gt;
molecular, histological and others) is largely inhibited or should be extremely cautious. Nonetheless, the study of&lt;br&gt;
burned skeletal assemblages can offer unique insights to funerary practices and technologies, as well as the manipulation&lt;br&gt;
of dead bodies. In line with the above, the aim of this guide is to cover various aspects of the study of burned&lt;br&gt;
skeletal assemblages. It should be seen as a supplement to the &amp;lsquo;Basic guidelines for the excavation and study of human&lt;br&gt;
skeletal remains; STARC Guide no. 1 &amp;rsquo; and the &amp;lsquo;Excavation and study of commingled human skeletal remains; STARC Guide&lt;br&gt;
no. 2&amp;rsquo;. The current guide is meant to serve only as a general outline and the described field and lab-based methods&lt;br&gt;
should be modified depending on the context and characteristics of each assemblage under study.&lt;/p&gt;

A number of excellent volumes have been published in the past years, compiling experimental and case studies on the&lt;br&gt;
retrieval and examination of burned skeletal remains in archaeological and forensic contexts (Fairgrieve 2008; Schmidt&lt;br&gt;
and Symes 2015; Symes et al. 2012; Thompson 2015). Much of the information presented here has been drawn from&lt;br&gt;
these resources, as well as from other publications and the author&amp;rsquo;s professional experience. References are given&lt;br&gt;
throughout the current document but the aim is by no means to provide an exhaustive account of the literature.&lt;/p&gt;

This document is an open resource and it is anticipated to be updated at regular intervals. I would greatly appreciate&lt;br&gt;
any feedback and recommendations for future improvement&lt;/p&gt;</subfield>
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