Neolithic Bodies [Paperback]

Penny Bickle (Editor); Emilie Sibbesson (Editor)

ISBN: 9781785709012 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Series: Neolithic Studies Group Seminar Papers | Volume: 15 | Year of Publication: 2018 | Language: English 154p, H240 x W170 (mm) b/w

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Neolithic Bodies


As a result of recent methodological and theoretical developments in approaches to the human body in archaeological contexts, the theme has recently become a particularly dynamic research area. This volume, building on the Neolithic Studies Group conference 2014, captures the variety of debates developing across research into the Neolithic bodies of the Near East and Europe. Papers are divided into three themes; living bodies, the body in death and the representation of the body.

In the first section, papers present new research assessing skeletal evidence, alongside new interpretations of the body in the Southern British Neolithic to examine the lived experience of the body in the Neolithic.

The second theme illustrates the variety of approaches arising from the study of death and burial, focusing on the many different ways the dead were treated during the Neolithic.

The third theme examines the body as it is represented in Neolithic art, through artefacts and the stone stele found in Western and Mediterranean Europe.

The volume begins with an introduction to the recent developments in the field and concludes with a discussion chapter from Julian Thomas, which sets an agenda for future studies on this theme. The approaches taken in the papers presented here bridge many different methodologies, ranging from theoretical treatises to methodological debates. Overall, the volume presents the study of the body in the Neolithic as a contested site, at which overlapping research themes meet, and addresses the insights provided by thinking about past bodies.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Timothy Darvill and Kenneth Brophy
Preface and acknowledgements
List of contributors
1. Bodies, old and new
Penny Bickle and Emilie Sibbesson
2. Both permeable and partible: Exploring the body world of Early Neolithic southern Britain
Oliver J. T. Harris
3. Life on the frontier: Stress in early farming communities
Abigail Ash and Ron Pinhasi
4. Consuming bodies: Bowls, bones, food and fi re in Early Neolithic Britain
Emilie Sibbesson
5. Articulating the disarticulated: Human remains from the Early Neolithic of the eastern Fertile Crescent (eastern Iraq and western Iran)
Sam Walsh and Roger Matthews
6. Warm air and glowing pyres: Cremating bodies in the Late Neolithic of mainland Scotland
Kenneth Brophy, Gavin MacGregor and Gordon Noble
7. Dismembering bodies and atypical human deposits of the 4th millennium cal BC in the Upper-Rhine valley: Part of sacrificial practices?
Philippe Lefranc, Anthony Denaire, Christian Jeunesse and Bruno Boulestin
8. Stone bodies between social constructions and ontology: The Copper Age statues-menhirs from the central Alps
Claudia Defrasne
9. The Neolithic body
Julian Thomas

Reviews & Quotes

"The book is produced and presented to a high standard. Individually, the chapters are insightful, thorough and thought-provoking […] the book covers much important ground, and provides a very good snapshot of some current avenues of research into Neolithic bodies."
Chris Fowler
Antiquity (02/04/2020)

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