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Christophe Snoeck


I am a Research Professor and a FWO-Fellow at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel combining isotope geochemistry and archaeology. I did a Master in Chemical Engineering at the Université Libre de Bruxelles and then a MSc and PhD in Archaeological Science at the University of Oxford. My PhD thesis focussed on evaluating the structural and isotopic modifications occurring in bone during cremation and assessing how much original isotopic information remains in bone once fully calcined. I currently aim to push further the study of cremation and cremated bone from archaeological contexts.

My current project entitled “A Song of Bone and Fire – A Clash of Worlds” is funded by FWO Vlaanderen ( Based at the Geochemsitry department (AMGC) of the VUB, this project will take the study of cremated bone from archaeological context a step further by developing new geochemical and spectroscopic tools.

Since January 2018, I am also the Scientific Coordinator of the CRUMBEL project - Cremation, Urns and Mobility: population dynamics in BELgium - funded by the Belgain Excellence of Science program (EoS). Bringing together researchers from the VUB, ULB and UGent, this project will study the extensive collections of Belgian cremated bone dating from the Neolithic to the Early Middle Ages. In turn, this will provide insights on funerary practices, migration and mobility patterns of past Belgian populations.

Key Research Interests

•    Bioarchaeology
•    Cremation
•    Radiocarbon dating
•    Isotope analyses (H, C, N, O, S, Sr)
•    Biologically available strontium
•    Funerary rituals



MEng Chemical Engineering and Material Sciences 2010, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium

MSc Archeological Science 2011, University of Oxford, UK

DPhil Arcaeological Science 2015, Unviersity of Oxford, UK

Snoeck C., Pouncett J., Claeys Ph., Goderis S., Mattielli N., Parker Pearson M., Willis C., Zazzo A., Lee-Thorp J.A. & Schulting R.J. 2018. Strontium isotope analysis on cremated human remains from Stonehenge support links with west Wales. Scientific Reports, 8:10790.

Snoeck C., Pouncett J., Ramsey G., Meighan I., Mattielli N., Goderis S., Lee-Thorp J.A. & Schulting R.J. 2016. Mobility during the Neolithic and Bronze Age in Northern Ireland explored using strontium isotope analysis of cremated human bone. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 160(3):397–413.

Snoeck C., Schulting R.J., Lee-Thorp J.A., de Jong J., Debouge W. & Mattielli N. 2015. Calcined bone provides a reliable substrate for strontium isotope ratios as shown by an enrichment experiment. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 29:107–114.

Main Publications


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