Late Bronze Age skeletal populations of Slovenia
Within the field of archaeology, cremation studies have the potential to provide important information regarding regional demography, pyre technology, burial rituals, and social rites. The development of recognized value and study of cremated remains has been stimulated by the establishment of proper methods of analysis and the increased awareness of the varying characteristics the bones exhibit after having been exposed to firing. During the Late Bronze Age, cremation was the principal method of disposing of deceased individuals throughout central and southern Europe. Three Urnfield Culture sites which had the most preserved material were selected for this study; from these sites, 169 individuals were selected for osteoarchaeological research. In addition to a standard osteological examination, cremation-related changes to the skeleton were studied such as temperature of firing, fracture patterns, element survival, and overall fragmentation and preservation. Demographics such as age and sex were established for each individual when possible and any animal bones present were acknowledged. This research is important because it is the first major osteological study done on cremated remains from Urnfield Culture sites in Slovenia. It is bringing to light new information on population demographics, the effectiveness of the cremation process during the time of the Urnfield Culture, and will supplement current research on the Late Bronze Age in Slovenia.