Understanding heat-induced changes in human bone remains using ATR-FTIR combined with chemometrics

Özdemir K., Bayarı S., Şen E. H., Araujo-Andrade C., Erdal Y. S.

Eurasian Journal of Anthropology, vol.12, no.2, pp.67-82, 2022 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 12 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Journal Name: Eurasian Journal of Anthropology
  • Journal Indexes: Anthropological Literature, Index Islamicus
  • Page Numbers: pp.67-82
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Physical and chemical properties of skeletal bone undergo significant alterations during burning. The analysis of heat-induced changes in human skeletal remains has been providing important knowledge that has been applied to the research of burned bones from archaeological and forensic settings. The study of burned bones is also fundamental to understand funerary behaviors. To understand heat-induced crystallinity changes in human bones, remains from five medieval sites in Turkey: Hakemi Use, Komana, İznik, Oluz Höyük and Tasmasor were burned under controlled conditions (from 300 to 900°C). Attenuated Total Reflectance Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) combined with Principal Component Analysis (PCA) were used to analyze the findings. Clear spectral differences were observed in the organic and inorganic components of the bone remains as a function of the temperature. Approximate cremation temperatures of cremated remains from Acemhöyük in Turkey were estimated using Partial Least-Square Regression (PLS).