Understanding early Neolithic human remains at causewayed enclosure sites

Pietrzak, Adam Carl (2015). Understanding early Neolithic human remains at causewayed enclosure sites. University of Birmingham. M.Res.

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Over nearly a century of study, a number of interpretive paradigms have been proposed to account for the presence of Early Neolithic human remains at causewayed enclosures in England, and to suggest what they might mean. The human remains have largely been understood as the result of the deliberate exposure of bodies on-site as part of the excarnation process, or have been seen as votive deposits. However, the evidence has not been precisely defined in the literature, and the nature and scale of mortuary practices at causewayed enclosures remains unclear. This thesis collates, presents and analyzes the published data relating to 36 certain excavated causewayed enclosures to evaluate the validity of current interpretive paradigms for understanding the presence and meaning of the human remains. The evidence suggests that these interpretive paradigms are largely inadequate for understanding the human remains. The diversity of treatments and practices accorded to the human remains at the sites is demonstrated, and it is suggested that new interpretive frameworks need to be developed which can better account for the nature of the evidence.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Res.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Res.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of History and Cultures, Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology (CAHA)
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/6125


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