AbstractA characteristic feature of the mortuary record of Mesolithic Europe is the variability in the depositional contexts from which human remains have been recovered. As well as clearly defined burials, skeletal material has also been recorded from occupation deposits, middens, caves, stream channels and bodies of water – the ‘non-burial’ contexts of this chapter’s title. The character of this material also varies, from isolated finds of single skeletal elements, to the disarticulated remains of partial bodies, assemblages of specific elements (notably skulls), and the commingled remains of multiple individuals. In some cases, they represent the only evidence for the deposition of human remains at a site, while in others they occur (both spatially and temporally) alongside inhumation and cremation burials. This chapter reviews human remains from a variety of non-burial contexts, defined principally as those remains that were not inhumed as complete bodies, and explores the contribution that this material can make to our understanding of funerary practice and belief in the European Mesolithic.
CitationGray Jones, A. (2024 - forthcoming). Human remains in ‘non-burial’ contexts. In L. Nilsson Stutz, R. Peyroteo Stjerna, & M. Torv (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of Mesolithic Europe. Oxford University Press.
PublisherOxford University Press
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