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Lecture 30 Part 2 – Burials

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Western University
Anthropology 2229F/G
Christopher Ellis

Lecture 30 Part 2 – Burials  3. Processing of the Corpse o How was the body of the individual treated to prepare it for the burial?  Articulated or disarticulated?  Body position  Mummified? o Some are very elaborate, others more simple  Artificial mummification (Egypt)  cremation o E.g. Late Archaic Ontario, 3200-2800 BP  Varies greatly: some are cremated, extended articulated burials, bone bundles  Cremations are only for the young  Populous buried in flexed position, less effort  More effort into elite burials, extended position o E.g. Middle Woodland, Eastern Ontario, 2000 BP  People buried under the mounds  Almost all fully articulated  More grave goods with people in the mounds, more valuable goods  Mostly males  People buried on top of the mound  Disarticulated  Less if any goods  Buried as bundles, died longer period of time before burial (could be people who died in winter or when you return to the site)  Social distinctions, but not marked with completely separate burial grounds  Ossuary burials – bone pits  For most of the populous  Involve several villages o All the villages were a socio-political unit  Bones all mixed up, no discrete burials o Can be indicative of an egalitarian society   4. Nature of the Corpse o What is the sex and age of the individual? o Is there evidence of disease? Genetic characteristics? o Is there evidence of disability? o Good or bad nutrition? o Correlations with age, gender, etc. with how they are buried  5. Grave Accoutrements/Goods o What goods have been placed with the individual, if any? o How elaborate are the goods? o Relationship between age, gender and what they are buried with o What they are buried with reflects the concept of per
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