The body in the cave

in Neolithic cave burials
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This chapter introduces two important questions for the study. It looks at the possible relationships between Neolithic cave burial and other Neolithic burial practices. It then introduces the important idea that caves and other natural places had agency and were actively incorporated into funerary rites. The chapter also introduces the data set used in the book: forty-eight cave sites in Britain with Neolithic radiocarbon dates on human remains. The chapter concludes by reviewing problems in interpreting this data and introduces the theoretical themes discussed in the following chapters: temporality, object agency and funerary ritual.

Neolithic cave burials

Agency, structure and environment

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