MΩMOΣ IX. The Archaeology of ritual - Proceedings of the IXth conference of researchers of prehistory (Supplementum 3.)
Articles

Methods of Identification for Ceramics with Traces of Secondary Burning and their Occurrences in Mortuary and Ritual-related Assemblages

Published February 6, 2020
How to Cite
Gucsi, L. (2020). Methods of Identification for Ceramics with Traces of Secondary Burning and their Occurrences in Mortuary and Ritual-related Assemblages. Dissertationes Archaeologicae, 4, 215-240. https://doi.org/10.17204/dissarch.suppl3

Abstract

Among archaeological assemblages recovered both from settlement sites and burial grounds, the presence of ceramics with traces of secondary burning is a relatively common phenomenon. The identification of such traces can nuance the interpretation of the archaeological contexts within which these ceramics occur. In case of cremation burials, it can highlight the details of the cremation process. However, most publications seem to mention secondarily burnt ceramics either when the pieces are clearly severely burnt, deformed or blistered, despite these cases being only partial representations of the whole phenomenon. Based on previous experience, three levels of secondary burning can be distinguished on archaeological ceramics: slight, moderate and severe secondary burning. This more detailed classification could aid the reconstruction of funerary rituals. The recognition and the correct identification of such ceramic pieces can provide details on whether a certain vessel (or vessel types) was/were placed on the funeral pyre or was only tangentially involved in the cremation process.