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Natufian collective burial practice and cranial pigmentation: A reconstruction from Azraq 18 (Jordan)

Fanny Bocquentin 1 Andrew Garrard 2
1 Ethnologie préhistorique
ArScAn - Archéologies et Sciences de l'Antiquité
Abstract : The collective grave from Azraq 18 in Jordan provides an exceptional case-study of Natufian burial treatment from a site outside what was traditionally regarded as the core settlement area of the Mediterranean zone. Despite the bones being in a poor state of preservation, the meticulous excavation and recording of the material from the burial pit permits the reconstruction of the funerary treatment of each individual and of the history of the collective burial feature through time. Through detailed osteological analysis, techniques for unravelling the formation processes involved in the creation of the commingled assemblage of bones are presented. These aid reconstruction of burial practices and the subsequent secondary handling of the skeletal remains. Amongst the collective graves known from the Natufian, Azraq 18 provides some of the best information on the various steps involved in their creation. In addition, two crania show traces of pigmentation attesting to elaborate and rare secondary treatment of skeletal material in Natufian contexts.
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Fanny Bocquentin, Andrew Garrard. Natufian collective burial practice and cranial pigmentation: A reconstruction from Azraq 18 (Jordan). Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, Elsevier, 2016, 10, pp.693-702. ⟨10.1016/j.jasrep.2016.05.030⟩. ⟨hal-02010589⟩



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