Gestures and positions

in Neolithic cave burials
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This chapter begins by considering the history of the interpretation of multi-stage burial practices in the Neolithic. These interpretations have contrasted secondary burials involving exposure and bone circulation with successive inhumation of bodies in a single location. Chronologies and temporalities of different styles of burial rites are considered. Various ethnographic discussions of collective and multi-stage burials are also introduced, including the important interpretive concept of the intermediary period in funerary rites. The chapter then goes on to discuss evidence which needs to be understood in any archaeological discussion of the intermediary period. This includes the taphonomy of human decomposition; the differences between different burial environments; and cave processes and their possible effects on burials.

Neolithic cave burials

Agency, structure and environment



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