Burial practices at the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in Britain: change or continuity?

  • Emily Hellewell Department of Archaeology, The Kings Manor University of York
  • Nicky Milner Department of Archaeology, The Kings Manor University of York
Keywords: burial, caves, disarticulation, Mesolithic-Neolithic transition, Britain

Abstract

There is no doubt that the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition was a time of great change. It has been suggested that at this time people began to disarticulate their dead and use caves and monuments as ways of interacting with the ancestors. This paper looks at the transition from a Mesolithic perspective in order to identify evidence for change and continuity. It is suggested that certain practices such as disarticulation and the use of caves are much earlier in date and thus provide some continuity. Practices such as the use of shell middens for the deposition of human remains and the construction of monuments stand out as innovations, but are not necessarily the result of a new ideology.

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Published
2011-12-31
How to Cite
Hellewell, E., & Milner, N. (2011). Burial practices at the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in Britain: change or continuity?. Documenta Praehistorica, 38, 61-68. https://doi.org/10.4312/dp.38.5
Section
Articles