week 11:Results of re-analysis of Quanterness

Crozier (2014) re-assessed the Minimum Number of Individuals (MNI) for the Quanterness skeletal remains which was originally calculated as 157 individuals (refer to week 7) by Chesterman in 1983. The recalculation of MNI by Crozier in 2012 as mentioned in the chapter ‘Exceptional or conventional? social identity within the chamber tomb of Quanterness, Orkney’ (Ginn et al 2014), resulted in the reduction of MNI to 59 individuals and similarly the MNI of Isbister tomb was also reduced to 85 from approximately 341.

The re-analysis of the Quanterness tomb has also provided evidence for absence of differential burials in terms of age and sex. Crozier has mentioned that there was no record of neonates buried in the original assessment  by Chesterman. The MNI figures does not represent true population or number of individuals as there could have been bones missing, highly decayed and also the analytical techniques in the  past were not as advanced and accurate as at present.


Ginn, V., Enlander, R., and Crozier,R. (2014). Exploring Prehistoric Identity in Europe: Our Construct or Theirs?Themes from the Ancient Near East BANEA Publication Series. 3. Available from https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=6prwAwAAQBAJ&pg=PA34&dq=chesterman,J.T.+1979+investigation+of+the+human+bones+from+quanterness&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=3#v=onepage&q=chesterman%2CJ.T.%201979%20investigation%20of%20the%20human%20bones%20from%20quanterness&f=false [Accessed 30/12/2015]



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