Death and Burial

Christopher Mee

in The Oxford Handbook of the Bronze Age Aegean

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199873609
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology

 Death and Burial

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  • Classical Studies
  • Greek and Roman Archaeology
  • Historical Archaeology


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Funeral practices were already well developed before the start of the Neolithic period. As the population increased with the growth of settlements, one would expect more graves. However, the number of excavated Neolithic burials can be counted in the hundreds, whereas tens of thousands of people lived and died in Greece between 7000 and 3000 bc. Intramural burial within settlements was not common for adults. Most of the cases that have been recorded were infants or young children. The situation is different in caves that were occupied at this time, such as Franchthi and Alepotrypa in Laconia. The remains of adults and children have been found at both of these sites, but few of the skeletons were articulated. Although some may have been disturbed, it is clear that secondary burial was a regular practice. Although Neolithic cremations have been found at a number of other sites, inhumation was probably the most common practice.

Keywords: funeral; Neolithic period; burials; Greece; Franchthi; Alepotrypa; cremations; inhumation

Article.  6497 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Greek and Roman Archaeology ; Historical Archaeology

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