104-8.2-burials

104-8.2-burials - Learning from the Dead Human Burials...

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Learning from the Dead Human Burials
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What’s so Special About the Dead? 1. They tell you about the individual Most archaeological information relates to groups or societies – rare to have information that relates to a specific person (especially for non-literate societies) 2. They tell you about ideology and ritual Burials are material remains from prehistoric ritual practices; it is difficult (but not impossible) to clearly identify ritual practices archaeologically in non-burial contexts 3. The tell you about social organization How a person is dealt with after death has some relation to how they were viewed in life, and to role(s) in society
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“The Dead do Not Bury Themselves” Human remains are universally accorded some type of special treatment by human societies As early as Neandertals, 150,000 BP+ Treatment of dead determined by cultural rules and norms Many different, socially-prescribed ways, to dispose of the dead Treatment of the dead leaves material remains Body treatment and associated artifacts Interpreting material remains can allow us to interpret the rules and norms that governed their creation
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Dealing with the Dead Burial : general term for disposal of human remains Tomb : remains placed in some type of structure Inhumation : grave burial; disposed of intact Extended vs. Flexed; Coffin, Shroud Cremation : remains burned, then disposed of Loose or Contained, grave or scattered
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course AANT 104 taught by Professor Rafferty during the Spring '08 term at SUNY Albany.

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104-8.2-burials - Learning from the Dead Human Burials...

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