Mesolithic cremations as secondary mortuary practices at Vlasac (Serbia)

  • Dušan Borić Cardiff School of History and Archaeology, Cardiff University, Cardiff
  • Jelena Raičević Department of Archaeology, Belgrade University, Belgrade
  • Sofija Stefanović Department of Archaeology, Belgrade University, Belgrade
Keywords: cremations, secondary mortuary practice, Mesolithic, Vlasac, the Danube Gorges

Abstract

In the course of recent excavations of the Mesolithic-Neolithic site of Vlasac, new light has been shed on the mortuary practices and ritualistic behaviour of the Danube Gorges foragers on the basis of human remains with evidence of diverse treatments of dead human bodies. While the majority of burials from the site were found as articulated and some as disarticulated inhumations, there were also several cremation burials. The aim of this paper is to present the analyses of these burned remains, which were excavated in the course of 2006–2007 field seasons in the Danube Gorges. Some of the cremation pits contained calcified human bones, with charcoal and fragments of broken and burned projectile points. These contexts are compared with similar cremation pits found during the first excavations at Vlasac and other sites in the region in 1970–1971. Finally, we examine a series of plausible interpretations in order to sketch a belief system that was part of these funerary practices at Vlasac throughout the 7th millennium BC.

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Published
2009-12-31
How to Cite
Borić, D., Raičević, J., & Stefanović, S. (2009). Mesolithic cremations as secondary mortuary practices at Vlasac (Serbia). Documenta Praehistorica, 36, 247-282. https://doi.org/10.4312/dp.36.16
Section
Articles