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14C Dates and Spatial Statistics: Modeling Intrasite Spatial Dynamics of Urnfield Cemeteries in Belgium Using Case Study of Destelbergen Cemetery

Jeroen De Reu, Guy De Mulder, Mark Van Strydonck, Mathieu Boudin, Jean Bourgeois


The possibility of radiocarbon dating on cremated bones stimulated a systematic 14C dating project investigating the chronology of Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age urnfield cemeteries in Belgium. The growing amount of 14C dates on these cremated remains led to new insights into the chronology, development, and disappearance of the urnfield phenomenon. Consequently, ideas about cultural and historical processes need to be modified. Also, the internal chronology of the cemeteries is much more complex than previously thought, stimulating the need for techniques to analyze and visualize the internal development of an individual burial site. The application of centrographic methods like the mean center, standard distance circle, and standard deviational ellipse illustrates the possibilities for analyzing the internal chronology of the cemeteries based on the available 14C dates.

DOI: 10.2458/azu_js_rc.v54i3–4.16044

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