Our study tackles the question of the various ways cremated bones were deposited in graves, as evidenced by the burials in the La Tène cemetery at La Calotterie “La Fontaine aux Linottes” (Pas-de-Calais). The diverse practices observed are juxtaposed with the more or less evident traces of the presence of the corpse.

This study is introduced by a consideration of the issues at stake in the excavation and study of cremated deposits. They give evidence of the sequence of operations that, following the cremation, give a particular form to the remains of the body. Indeed, our working hypothesis is that the cinerary deposit constitutes a social and cultural construction. The idea that it is shaped by conventions and symbols – even where it appears the most “natural” – is supported by three examples.