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date: 22 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Archaeothanatology has recently been introduced to the Caribbean for the study of both the precolonial and colonial burial assemblages. By drawing on a multidisciplinary approach and laying emphasis on the taphonomic processes, this article sheds light on the complexity and diversity of mortuary behavior in the Ceramic Age Lesser Antilles. Although mortuary treatment is often regarded as a representation of the social personae of an individual at death, the examples in this article show that rules are fluid and mortuary treatment is open to manipulation. In addition to a number of general commonalities encountered in the various burial assemblages through time, there is a clear emphasis on the individual treatment of the dead, resulting in unique cases of mortuary behavior.

Keywords: mortuary behavior, Ceramic Age, Lesser Antilles, taphonomic processes, archaeothanatology, burial treatment

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