Bioarchaeology at Basur Hoyuk

Location:  Başur Höyük

Year: 2017

Grant Recipient: 

Brenna Hassett, Natural History Museum

Funding:  BIAA

Under BIAA SRI(s):  

Migration, minorities and regional identities, Habitat and Settlement in prehistoric, historical and contemporary perspectives


This project looks at the biosocial lives of individuals who were buried in the Early Bronze Age Cemetery at the site of Başur Höyük in the Upper Tigris river between 3100-2800 BC. The specific research goal of this project was to analyse the human remains found in a large cist tomb that contained a large wealth of grave goods, and human remains found just to the exterior of the tomb, and determine their relationships. Palaeodemographic analysis was carried out to identify the age and sex of the burials from fragmentary remains, and to establish the minimum number of individuals buried inside and outside the tomb. A detailed analysis of the remains was also carried out in order to identify any evidence of palaeopathology, particularly in relation to cause of death.  These bioarchaeological analyses are considered alongside evidence for regional and temporal shifts in burial ritual and material culture relating to the collapse of the Uruk ‘system’ in place in the 4th millennium BC and the rise of kingship and early states in the succeeding millennium.

Resulting Publications: 

Radical ‘Royals’? New evidence from Başur Höyük for radical burial practices in the transition to early states in Mesopotamia.

Brenna Hassett:

I am a bioarchaeologist who researches the intersections of health, growth, and urbanism. I lead the physical anthropology research team at Basur Hoyuk in Southeastern Turkey and am a Scientific Associate at the Natural History Museum London.

Belongs to;
Archaeology and Related Disciplines

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