La population natoufienne de Mallaha (Eynan, Israël) : dénombrement, âge au décès et recrutement funéraire

Abstract : The reappraisal of the anthropological Natufian collection from Mallaha (12 000-10 300 BP), the largest available, includes all of the skeletons discovered from the 1950's up to the last campaign. The estimation of the number of individuals (N=102) and their age at death yields a new paleodemographic analysis, not for the assessment of a Natufian mortality pattern, but rather to recognize anomalous demographic patterns and determine possible criteria of burial selection. The results, concerning the three settlement and burial phases at Mallaha (Early, Recent and Final Natufian), do not fit the standard hypothesis of a Natufian demography affected by an overall under-representation of older adults and children. There is no sign of any deficit of older adults in the Mallaha sample, whatever the phase. A relatively low proportion of subadults appears only during the Late Natufian, together with numerous graves damaged by erosion. A large under-representation of infants (under one-year-old) is obvious solely among the Recent Natufian specimens and this burial selection can be related to another shift in mortuaiy practices : at the same period, funerary structures containing many individuals replace the single or double primary burials (standard practice during the Earlv and the Late Natufian).
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Fanny Bocquentin, P. Sellier, Pascal Murail. La population natoufienne de Mallaha (Eynan, Israël) : dénombrement, âge au décès et recrutement funéraire. Paléorient, CNRS, 2001, 27 (1), pp.89-106. ⟨10.3406/paleo.2001.4722⟩. ⟨hal-01994692⟩

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