Usai M, Pickering MD, Wilson C, Keely BJ & Brothwell DR (2014) 'Interred with their bones': soil micromorphology and chemistry in the study of human remains. Antiquity, 88 (339), Art. No.: Project Gallery Article. http://antiquity.ac.uk/projgall/usai339/
Typically, archaeological excavation of human burials concentrates on recovering the skeleton and associated grave goods, as well as recording grave form. The research reported here investigates whether additional information might be obtained from sampling the burial matrix directly adjacent to human remains. This demands new thinking about the sampling, and the development and testing of a new methodology, combining soil micromorphology and chemical analysis. Such sampling needs to consider both the environment uninfluenced by the grave cut, and positions within the grave, both above and at the level of the remains (Figure 1a). Moreover, such sampling needs to account for variation at different localities and periods, as well as both chemical and micromorphological differences.
Antiquity: Volume 88, Issue 339