From the field to the microscope: funerary archaeoentomology workflow

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Stefano Vanin
Giorgia Giordani
Giuseppina Carta


insects, entomology, specimen preparation, funerary archaeology, protocol


Funerary archaeoentomology is a recent bioarchaeological discipline. It shares the same bulk of knowledge of forensic entomology, which is the science of analysing entomological evidence (insects and other arthropods) as an aid to legal investigations. In archaeo-funerary contexts insects can provide informa- tion to describe the funerary practices but also to understand the taphonomic processes involving human and other animal bodies. The discipline was founded by Jean-Bernard Huchet in 1996. In this paper a workflow in seven main steps - documentation, collection on site, insect-sediment separation, specimens cleaning, mount- ing, labelling and identification - is suggested in order to maximize the information that can be derived from insect samples collected from archaeo-funerary sites.

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