Inhumations and cemeteries during the Neolithic: a comparative approach from Central to the South of Europe
Funerary practices in the Neolithic show great variability, both within and between different regions of Europe, including inhumations, cremations, collective burials and disarticulation. Yet, there are also many similarities of practice shared across the continent. While the collective burials of the Atlantic façade and Northern Europe have been considered alongside each other as a cohesive phenomenon, practices of inhumation in single (or multiple) graves in cemeteries are rarely compared between broader regions at this time. This may be because of their familiarity, as inhumation in cemeteries is widely practiced in modern Europe. We would like to problematize the assumption that inhumation in cemeteries can be taken for granted. In addition, recent developments in archaeological science (e.g. a DNA, isotopes, dental calculus, radiocarbon dating, material culture studies), have meant that our ability to shed light on Neolithic social identity and organisation through inhumations and cemeteries has dramatically increased. This is particularly the case when large cemeteries can be compared and the results of scientific data integrated with the burial practices, such as orientation, body position and accompanying grave goods. In this session, we take a comparative approach to the inhumation burials found in Neolithic Europe, with a particular focus on those from central and southern regions. We invite submissions focused on Neolithic inhumation burial practices across Europe. Those with a focus on interdisciplinary research or bringing together multiple lines of different evidence are particularly welcome.
Dr. Penny Bickle (United Kingdom), Dr Juan Gibaja Bao (Spain), Prof. Maria Eulàlia Subirà (Spain)