The TEFRA Archaeological Research Project

Glowing coals

EXARC member Yannis Chatzikonstantinou is part of an interdisciplinary research team that looks at the technology and the bio-anthropology of the use of fire on human remains in the Aegean.

The project, which started earlier this year, is funded by the Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation in the framework of the 2nd Call for H. F. R. I.'s Research Projects to Support Faculty Members and Researchers. The principal investigator is associate professor Dr. Sevasti Triantaphyllou from the Department of Archaeology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (GR).

"The originality of the project will be accomplished through the systematic and methodological collaboration of several scholars from archaeology, osteoarchaeology, biochemistry, and forensic sciences. Innovative analytical methods will be applied for the first time in archaeological remains of the prehistoric and protohistoric Aegean."

The team is focussing on the "practice of burning of the human body [...] from the Neolithic to the Early Iron Age." The approach comes from two different sides - technology of fire and bio-anthropology - and offers the option to create a holistic overview of the phenomenon of fire. To achieve this, the team addresses the research from four different point of views: bibliographical research which means creating a database including the literature about the use of fire on human remains; macroscopic analysis from selected and well-documented sites in the Aegean; analytical methods including destructive and non-destructive methods to the selected samples and experimental archaeology for the reconstruction of differential combustion condition.

The results gained from this project are aiming to fill "essential gaps in the research on pyrotechnology" and therefore offering the possibility for interpretation that before had not been possible.

To keep up to date with the project, please check their social media (see links below).