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The Excellence of Science (EOS) framework promotes joint research projects between Flemish and French-Speaking Universities of Belgium. The CRUMBEL Project (No. 30999782) has received funding for the study of Belgian human cremated remains.


The funding is split between three universities (VUB, ULB and UGent) and the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA). Dr. Christophe Snoeck is the scientific coordinator of the CRUMBEL, in charge of the daily project management. As PI and spokesperson, Prof. Dries Tys administers this project from the VUB (Archaeology) with the help of Prof. Guy De Mulder (Archaeology, UGent), Prof. Martine Vercauteren (Biology, ULB) as well as Dr. Mathieu Boudin (KIK-IRPA) who will provide access to radiocarbon facilities. Close collaborations with Prof. Eugène Warmenbol (CReA, ULB), Prof. Nadine Mattielli & Prof. Vinciane Debaille (G-TIME, ULB), and Prof. Philippe Claeys (AMGC, VUB) ensure access to archaeological collections and geochemical facilities. 


This project studies the collections of cremated bone found in Belgium dating from the Neolithic to the Early-Medieval period using state of the art analytical and geochemical analyses. Recording the Belgian collections in a database including as much osteoarchaeological information represents a crucial part of this project. Until now the dominance of cremation as funeral practice between 3000 BC and 700 AD in Northern Europe led to limited information on migrations and living conditions. CRUMBEL will greatly improve our current understanding of how people lived in Belgium.

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