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date: 17 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter deals with the first discoveries of Palaeolithic burial sites in 19th-century Europe. It gives a comparative analysis of the debates triggered by these discoveries in France and in England. While the recognition of these sites was largely unproblematic in England, it became a very controversial issue in France. This contrast demonstrates that discussions over ancient funeral practices were closely linked to the specific way in which prehistoric archaeology had developed in both countries, as well as to the broader political, religious, and philosophical context.

Keywords: Palaeolithic burials, history of prehistoric archaeology, science and religion, science and politics, 19th-century France and England

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