Early Neolithic Ritual Funerary Behaviours in the Westernmost Regions of the Mediterranean
New Insights from Dehesilla Cave (Southern Iberian Peninsula)
Keywords:Neolithic, ritual, human skull, pottery jar, residue analysis
An intact archaeological context named Locus 1 has recently been discovered at Dehesilla Cave (southern Spain). The ritual funerary deposition consists of a complete pottery jar with part of a human calvarium over the mouth, and was occulted by large stone blocks. This paper offers a presentation of the new data provided mainly by the stratigraphic, osteological, pottery, lithic and radiocarbon analyses. A systematic review of the relevant evidence in the Iberian Peninsula during the Early Neolithic (c. 5600–4800 cal BC) provides a context for this finding and supports its interpretation with reference to several possible anthropological scenarios.
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