It is not strange that the body was skeletonised when gypsum was added to the burial as it is my understanding that this practice was carried out either to protect a body from grave-robbers, or, as is likely in the case you are interested in, to prevent further grave-robbing or desecration.

So, the question is, is there any evidence of disturbance of the grave and/or body, unusual positioning of the skeletal material, absence of grave-goods when you would expect to find them etc. in the archaeological /osteological report?

Hope this helps.


 From: SOUTHWELL-WRIGHT W.A. <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask] 
Sent: Wednesday, 23 May 2012, 14:49
Subject: [BRITARCH] Roman Gypsum Burials
Dear all,

I am currently looking at a site which contains a Roman-period Gypsum burial where the authors suggest that the body was already skeletonised at the time the gypsum was poured over them due to the lack of any imprint from the body within it. I was wondering if anyone had encountered any other sites or case studies with similar practices, and if they could point me in the direction of them?


Will Southwell-Wright