Taphonomic study of the human remains from cova de montanissell (alt urgell, lleida) and interpretation of the funerary gesture

Núria Armentano, Xavier Jordána, Assumpcio Malgosa

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4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Taphonomy aims to provide a theoretical and methodological frame to understand the transition of biological remains from the moment of death to their recovery, as well as to interpret the funerary gesture of the past societies. In this article, the reconstruction of the taphonomic history of the human remains from Montanissell cave (Lleida) is presented, using the analysis of the taphonomic effects observed in situ and in the laboratory, and linking them to the radiocarbon, paleogenetic and pateopathological results. The Montanissell cave was used by a Bronze Age community to bury 8 individuals. It is characterized by being a collective funerary cavity, with primary successive inhumations. The interaction of some taphonomic processes and agents on human bones leaded to a complex and of low intensity taphonomic history which allowed an exceptional preservation of the bony tissue. The combination of different investigation lines has been fundamental for the discussion about the intentional or non-intentional position of the bodies, the simultaneity or non simultaneity of the burials, and the kinship among them.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-172
JournalTrabajos de Prehistoria
Volume71
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Collective burial
  • Death archaeology
  • Paleopathology
  • Physical anthropology
  • Recent prehistory

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