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Burial and identity in the Late Neolithic and Copper Age of south-east Europe

Stratton, Susan 2016. Burial and identity in the Late Neolithic and Copper Age of south-east Europe. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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In the Late Neolithic of south-east Europe, c. 5000 cal BC, a new form of burial practice appeared, as communities started to bury their dead in discrete extramural cemeteries. At the same time as this new formal burial practice, we see an increase in the number of grave goods placed with burials. There was a greater interest in the expression of identity through objects in the mortuary realm. This change was not simultaneous across the region of south-east Europe. It took two different trajectories, one in the Lower Danube and Black Sea coast region (the eastern region) and another in the Carpathian Basin (the western region). In the eastern region, cemeteries appear as discrete formal areas to bury the dead suddenly, c. 5000 cal BC, in stark contrast to the unknown burial practice that preceded it. In the western region, settlement burial in groups became the norm first, before fully extramural cemeteries appeared c. 4400 cal BC. This thesis analyses a number of these first cemeteries from both regions, looking at who was buried in them and what they were buried with. It is interested in what was being expressed about individual and social identity in the mortuary context. It uses correspondence analysis to look for patterns within the grave goods which may reveal specific social identities, such as age grades, gender or status. It concludes that the expression of difference through the body was an important part of the emergence of cemetery use. Furthermore, it provides new data about the timing of cemetery emergence by radiocarbon dating the Romanian cemetery site of Cernica.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 1 March 2017
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2020 02:39

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