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Des morts sans tombe?

Le cas des ossements humains en contexte non sépulcral en Europe tempérée entre les 6e et 3e millénaires av. J.-C.

Jean-Gabriel Pariat


Burial is a particularly visible witness of the funerary practices within a group, but does not necessarily make up the most representative vestige of these practices. Over the last thirty years, the multAlication of human remains discovered out of sepulchral context leads the author of this study to consider different methods of funerary practices for the period between the 6th and 3rd millennia BC in temperate Europe. What part do the remains play? Is their presence on the final burial site the resultof deliberate handling, or, on the contrary, from accidental circumstances independent of human control? On the other hand, does the phenomenon of human remains out of sepulchral context mean going back to a unique reality in time? Or, could it have a different significance according to the period in question? The author’s approach takes into account techniques developed by anthropological fieldwork to question these contexts. It calls on the elaboration of a solid analysis grid aimed at examining the sites systematically with the same approach. Through the results obtained he defines the criterion of inspection destined to determine the conditions of the human remains on arrival at the final burial site. In conclusion, the study aims to reveal the eventual evolution of these customs in terms of time and space.