EUROPEAN SCIENCE FOUNDATION EXPLORATORY WORKSHOP

EARLY SYMBOLIC SYSTEMS FOR COMMUNICATION
IN SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE


KARLOVO, BULGARIA, 14-20 APRIL 2002, SUMMARIES
EUROPEAN SCIENCE FOUNDATION

PREHISTORY FOUNDATION
Where are the burials in Southeast European and Anatolian Neolithic?

Krum Bacvarov
Sofia, Bulgaria
krum@mbox.cit.bg

The data analysis of 108 Neolithic intramural burials from 17 Bulgarian settlements and of burials in 75 settlements in Southeast Europe, West and Central Anatolia has allowed the author to build up a general classification of mortuary practices in this area, to follow their chronological development, to determine their distributional zones and to make an attempt to establish their possible origins.
     On the basis of the general characteristics of Neolithic mortuary practices in the area of Southeast Europe, West and Central Anatolia it can be argued that there was a relatively insignificant isolation of the ritual sphere from everyday life; the particular ritual elements vary considerably, which implies that factors of a concrete nature had the leading role. Although the idea of separating the world of the living from the world of the dead – and the domestic space from the mortuary space respectively – had already been taking shape and found realization in the existence of cemeteries, they still remained an isolated phenomenon, connected with the cremation burials. Although it cannot be excluded in theory, the simple inhumation in extramural cemeteries does not fit in the entire picture of the Neolithic mortuary practices in the area, which seems to be also confirmed by the field archaeological research. On the other hand the secondary burial was widely distributed, evidence of which are the numerous “scattered” human bones found in dwelling or interdwelling context in the Neolithic settlements.

cprslc@msn.com
2002 © European Science Foundation
2002 © Prehistory Foundation & Reports of Prehistoric Research Projects
2002 ©The author
Editor: Lolita Nikolova
All rights reserved. Published: 12/21/02
Since 12/21/02