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An interim report on histological analysis of human bones from Fishmonger's Swallet, Gloucestershire

Bricking, Adelle, Hayes, Anthony and Madgwick, Richard ORCID: 2022. An interim report on histological analysis of human bones from Fishmonger's Swallet, Gloucestershire. Proceedings of the University of Bristol Speleological Society 29 (1) , pp. 67-86.

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Fishmonger’s Swallet (Alveston, Gloucestershire) has produced an unusual quantity of human and animal bone dating to the Late Iron Age. Iron Age burial evidence in the south-west of Britain is scarce and human remains in caves are rarely considered due to lack of secure dating evidence, so the material from this site offers rare insights into a poorly understood mortuary practice. However, the nature of deposition within the cave is unclear as the remains are disarticulated and heavily fragmented. This paper presents an interim report on an ongoing histological study of bone diagenesis of human remains from Fishmonger’s Swallet. The amount of bacterial bioerosion and fungal tunnelling in bone microstructure was assessed in seven human remains excavated from the cave in 2000-01 to examine early post-mortem treatments. The results of this analysis, considered alongside taphonomic observations by Cox and Loe (2022, this issue), indicates that the individuals were subject to a variety of post-mortem treatments prior to interment within the cave.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 28 October 2022
Date of Acceptance: 30 September 2022
Last Modified: 10 May 2023 20:57

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