Lecture 30 Part 2 – Burials
3. Processing of the Corpse
o How was the body of the individual treated to prepare it for the
Articulated or disarticulated?
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
People buried on top of the mound
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
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