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Title: The analysis of funerary and ritual practices in Wales between 3600-1200 BC based on osteological and contextual data
Author: Tellier, Geneviève
ISNI:       0000 0004 7227 1897
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis examines the character of Middle Neolithic to Middle Bronze Age (3600-1200 BC) funerary and ritual practices in Wales. This was based on the analysis of chronological (radiocarbon determinations and artefactual evidence), contextual (monument types, burial types, deposit types) and osteological (demographic and pyre technology) data from a comprehensive dataset of excavated human bone deposits from funerary and ritual monuments. Funerary rites in the Middle Neolithic (c. 3600-2900 BC) sometimes involved the deposition of single inhumation or cremation burials in inconspicuous pit graves. After a hiatus in the Late Neolithic (c. 2900-2400 BC), formal burials re-appeared in the Chalcolithic (c. 2500-2200 BC) with Beaker burials. However, formal burials remained relatively rare until the Early Bronze Age (c. 2200-1700 BC) when burial mounds, which often contained multiple burials, became the dominant type of funerary monument. Burial rites for this period most commonly involved the cremation of the dead. Whilst adult males were over-represented in inhumations, no age- or gender-based differences were identified in cremation burials. Patterns in grave good associations suggest that perceived age- and-gender-based identities were sometimes expressed through the selection of objects to be placed in the graves. The tradition of cremation burials carried on into the Middle Bonze Age (c. 1700-1200 BC), although formal burials became less common. Circular enclosures (henges, timber circles, stone circles, pit circles), several of which were associated with cremated human bone deposits, represented the most persistent tradition of ritual monuments, with new structures built from the end of the fourth millennium BC to the middle of the second millennium BC in Wales.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Burial practices ; Burial rites ; Ritual practices ; Neolithic ; Bronze Age ; Wales ; Osteology ; Cremations ; Inhumations