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date: 13 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The Neolithic (c. 6300–4500 BC) and early–middle Copper Age (c. 4500–3500 BC) in south-east Europe offer one of the largest mortuary samples in European prehistory. This large corpus of data, comprising examples of burials found within settlements and in some of the earliest clearly defined extramural cemeteries, has been undeservedly understudied. Admittedly, much of the available published information remains scattered in various regional publications. This chapter gathers these disparate fragments of information for diverse and often widely separated regions of south-east Europe in establishing specific regional patterns, and frames common themes in the development of corporeal and mortuary symbolism over this vast region as a whole. Aspects of corporeal practices and politics are further linked to both questions of personhood construction and traditional concerns of anthropological archaeology regarding social aspects of mortuary rites.

Keywords: mortuary practices, body, personhood, south-east Europe, Neolithic, Copper Age

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