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Ref ID: 26432
Ref Type: Conference Paper
Authors: Beavan-Athfield, Nancy
Miksic, John
Chhem, Rethy
Shewan, Louise
O'Reilly, Douglas
Latinus, Kyle
Title: 15th-17th century jar burials in the Cardamom Mountains, Kingdom of Cambodia: a multidisciplinary investigation of secondary burials
Date: 2009
Source: Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association, Hanoi Conference
Place of Publication: Hanoi, Vietnam
Abstract: In March 2003 an initial investigation was made of secondary burials of human bone packed into stoneware jars at four rock ledge sites in the Cardamom Mountains, Kingdom of Cambodia. Radiocarbon dating and stable isotope analysis have been completed on three bone samples (one rib bone and two separate skulls) representing three individuals from one stoneware jar at Site 4. A Ward & Wilson T' test (Ward and Wilson 1978) indicates that all three dates are not significantly different (df 2, T'=1.7). If the assumption is made that the individuals all died and their remains were placed in the jar at the same time, then the dates can be combined (Combine function, OXCAL v3.10
Bronk Ramsey 2001, 2005) to give a combined calibrated radiocarbon age of 374±18 years BP. Due to the wiggle in the calibration curve at this time, the calendar age ranges diverge into two possible periods of 1440 to 1530 AD plus 1570 to 1630 AD. The associated 15th century Chinese and Sisatchanalai ceramics in the site support the conclusion that the radiocarbon ages give an accurate range for the deposition of the objects in the overhangs where they were found. Stable isotope evidence also suggests the radiocarbon ages are not affected by marine influences. We also report EDXRF analysis of glass beads found within the jars and CT-scans of skeletal elements and placement of the bones within the jars. There are outstanding questions about the funerary practice, the selection of these remote sites, and the cultural affinity of the remains, as the sites are unique in the Cambodian cultural-historical context.
Date Created: 11/30/2010