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Physical Anthropology

Two senior physical anthropologists, Isabelle Crevecoeur & Aurore Schmitt, now aided by Katrien Devijver, Kim Quintelier, Aude Civetta and Charlène Dalberra as well as Anne Gilon, are constantly present during the excavation of the cemetery (Zone 1) to help the excavation of the human remains. By using current archeothanatological techniques, they encode and map the position of all burial contents in order to reconstruct funerary practices that took place during the time period of use of the cemetery (from Early IIA to Middle Minoan II, about 800 years). A variety of practices has hitherto been recognized, from primary articulated individual enterments to collective burials as well as secondary deposits.

Part of the anthropological work is also related to the biological identification of human remains (age-at-death determinations, sexual diagnosis, metric and non-metric variations, pathologies, etc.). These data are essential to recognise the skeletal integrity of the individuals buried in the tombs and to interpret the spatial repartition and organization of the burials. The biological characterisation of these human remains may also provide information about the identity, the life conditions and behaviour of Minoan people.