This paper presents the results of the taphonomic analysis of the burials from Tell Halula (Middle Euphrates Valley, Syria). The numerous burials recovered from this Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) settlement, in addition to the large volume of field documentation, have provided an opportunity to study burials in more depth than is usually allowed. This data set is important because of the unique mode of deposition, the exceptional preservation of the related assemblages (including fabrics, mats, and basketry) and the highly standardized nature of the funerary practices. Although the burials were found in various stages of preservation and articulation, we will show that they all represented the same type of funerary deposit, namely seated burials, often encased in bottle-shaped funerary bundles, and that the variability found during excavation can be attributed to post-depositional taphonomic effects. We provide a study of the different forms that result from these taphonomic influences and highlight the importance of doing this type of analysis. We hope that this paper will be a valuable contribution to the growing body of literature surrounding both seated burials and the taphonomy of burials. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
- Funerary bundles
- Near East