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Pratiques funéraires, paramètres biologiques et identités culturelles au Natoufien : une analyse archéo-anthropologique

Abstract : At the end of the Levantine Epipalaeolithic, during the Natufian period (13 000-9 500 BC, calibrated), some hunter-gatherer populations had adopted a sedentary way of life. With the first permanent settlements, a new organisation of the dwelling area emerged, into which the dead were integrated. In this work, Natufian human remains are thoroughly examined, to improve our knowledge of their biological features and to determine how representative this available sample is, compared to the whole population. Burial practices have been analysed, through unpublished field records and osteological data. The sites of Shukbah, El Wad, Kébara, Erq-el-Ahmar, NahalOren, Rakefet, Hayonim (cave and terrace) and Mallaha, where most Natufian skeletons (N = 358) were found, have been extensively studied. The minimum number of individuals, as well as age at death and determination of sex, are reassessed. Although Natufians shared obvious biological affinities, a joint study of osteometric features, discrete traits, and the frequency of enamel hypoplasia and dental caries in the different groups attests to contrasted living conditions. The comparative study of funerary customs, through the osteo-archeological reinterpretation of each grave, highlights local identities. Nevertheless, in all contexts, the simple or complex treatment given to the corpses was of crucial importance during the funeral. The joint analysis of cultural data and biological factors reveals strong interactions. Burial selection which was carried out according to age, sex or kinship, is part of that evidence. The study of all the factors involved throughout the three thousand years that preceded the Neolithic shows significant changes. It is likely that part of this evolution is connected with climatic fluctuations and social changes.
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Fanny Bocquentin. Pratiques funéraires, paramètres biologiques et identités culturelles au Natoufien : une analyse archéo-anthropologique. Archéologie et Préhistoire. Université Bordeaux 1, 2003. Français. ⟨tel-01997088⟩



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