Journal of Archaeology in the Low Countries 1-2 (November 2009)Quentin Bourgeois; Luc Amkreutz; Raphaël Panhuysen: The Niersen Beaker burial: A renewed study of a century-old excavation
3 Human remains

3.3 Description of the human remains: 2009

The work of Holwerda and Nieuwenhuis has resulted in the rare preservation of a Beaker inhumation grave, which allows us to study it with modern techniques and put it in a new perspective. In general, Nieuwenhuis’ division of the human remains in two sections is still valid today, but it is evident that besides the human remains a third concentration of bones contains animal skeletal remains (fig. 3). Nieuwenhuis’ identification of these bones as being the remains of the foot of the crouched inhumation are no longer tenable. Two bones are visible in this section of the grave, one is easily recognisable as the dorsal surface of a metapodal of a large mammal, probably of a cow or horse (pers. comm. Mrs Inge van der Jagt, Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden). The second bone has a flat surface and is larger (±13 by 10 cm) than the remains of the human pelvis nearby. It lacks morphological features that would help to identify it by species, but attribution to the human skeleton can be ruled out by its large size and shape.


Fig. 3 Visible and exposed bones on the surface of the gypsum block. Grey bones belong to the inhumation in situ, blue bones belong to the disarticulated bones, the yellow bones were identified as animal bones.
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