Research Topic: A Bioarchaeological Study of Mortuary Practices at Neolithic Çatalhöyük, Turkey
Dr. Haddow is a bioarchaeologist who obtained his PhD at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London in 2012. Since 2004 he has been a member of the Çatalhöyük Research Project where his research is focused on Neolithic funerary practices, in particular delayed burial and other secondary treatments of the body, including the retrieval, circulation and redeposition of crania. He is currently investigating whether certain individuals at Çatalhöyük underwent defleshing and/or desiccation prior to interment. The aim is to provide novel scientific evidence for these funerary treatments based on histological analysis of bone in order to assess the degree of cortical bone bioerosion. A lack of bioerosion may indicate an attempt to halt the decomposition process, either by removal of the soft tissue or rudimentary mummification. The research also employs 3D modelling techniques and GIS spatial analyses. The application of these techniques has proven highly successful for recording the complicated sequence of intercutting burials found under house floors at Çatalhöyük and permits me to more accurately plot the varied spatial distribution of complete skeletons as well as loose skeletal elements such as crania and mandibles recovered from the site in a variety of depositional contexts. Ultimately, his goal is to expand this research to other sites in the Near East while developing new methodologies to further explore the nature of secondary burial practices beyond the Neolithic period.
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