On 19 June, Raili Allmäe from the Tallinn University School of Humanities defended her doctoral thesis, which focused on the cremations and burial practices of Iron Age Estonia. For the first time in Estonia, the focus is set on studying cremated human remains.
“Cremation was the preferred way of burial in Estonia in the Iron Age, but the remains have scarcely been studied until now. Thus, we do not know too much about the people that were buried this way: how many people per grave, whether they were men, women or children, how old they were, etc.” Allmäe explained the novelty of the thesis. “In addition to demographic data, studying remains also gives us important insights into the procedure of the burial,” she added.
The author said that the thesis has provided us with demographic data from the Middle and Late Iron Age periods. “This data is an important source for future researching and remodelling of the economics and habitation processes during the Iron Age. In addition, studying the cremated bones, we will learn more about the geographical, cultural and chronological differences in Iron Age burial practices,” Allmäe explained.
The doctoral thesis “Iron Age Cremation Burials in South-Eastern and West Estonia. An Osteological Approach” will be defended on 19 June at 16:00 at Tallinn University, room M-649 (Uus-Sadama 5). The supervisors were Senior Research Fellow Marika Mägi from Tallinn University, and Leiu Heapost, PhD. Her opponents are Researcher Laurynas Kurila from the Lithuanian Institute of History, and Senior Research Fellow Gunita Zariņa from University of Latvia.
You can read the thesis at the Tallinn University Academic Library E-vault ETERA.
Read other news on the city site of Tallinn.