In praise of limestone

in Neolithic cave burials
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In this chapter, it is suggested that limestone landscapes can be seen as a connecting theme in parts of the European Neolithic. The evidence for cave burial at the beginning of the Neolithic is reviewed. Cave burial was relatively late in the local sequence in Greece and the Balkans. By contrast, in Italy, southern France and Spain, single-grave cave burial occurs from the beginning of the period. In these regions there is also a later Neolithic collective burial practice in caves. There is a large concentration of Late Neolithic collective burials in Belgium. Therefore, Early Neolithic cave burial was primarily a western Mediterranean phenomenon. Later, Neolithic cave burial throughout Europe may have been connected with providing a fixed point in a seasonal round for mobile populations. There was an apparent upsurge in cave burial throughout the limestone regions of Europe around 4000 BC.

Neolithic cave burials

Agency, structure and environment



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