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Neolithic and Bronze Age Funerary and Ritual Practices in Wales, 3600–1200 BC

Geneviève Tellier
Publication Year:
214 pages, Illustrated throughout in colour and black and white. 47 tables, 90 figures (4 in colour).
BAR number:


This book brings together, for the first time, all of the burials and funerary practices from the Middle Neolithic to the end of the Middle Bronze Age (3600–1200 BC) in Wales into one coherent volume. The work is the first to provide an up-to-date synthesis of monument form and mortuary practice in Neolithic and Bronze Age Wales. It provides a comprehensive overview of all human bone deposits (both cremation and inhumation) throughout this time span. This comprises the osteological analysis of over 250 human bone deposits, with new observations and interpretations. The book engages with current debates on the changing character and significance of burial rites in later prehistory.

Nominated for the 2020 Current Archaeology Book of the Year award.

Geneviève Tellier is the director of North Wales Osteology, which provides osteological services for academic and commercial archaeology. She trained as an osteologist and completed her PhD at the University of Bradford, where her interest in British prehistory was developed.

‘…the synthesis of the wealth of data presented in the volume will provide an invaluable starting point for anyone researching in this field.’ W.J. Britnell, Archaeologia Cambrensis, Volume 168, 2019

‘…a comprehensive volume that illuminates the rich prehistory of Wales. The strongest contribution lies in the new analysis of human remains, which, as Tellier says, have previously been considered to be of only limited value. It is a book that is rich in data and will prove very useful for those studying prehistoric funerary practices in Britain and Europe.’ Jodie Lewis, The Prehistoric Society, August 2019

‘This book is a considerable achievement, being the first time that all available human burials from the middle Neolithic to middle Bronze Age in Wales have been catalogued, analysed, and presented in one volume…The real strength of this study is the osteological investigation, with more than 250 human-bone deposits analysed. The methodology is meticulous and provides a useful model for future work, particularly the analysis of cremations…The book will provide invaluable data for comparative use with other current large-scale human burial projects, such as UCL's 'The Beaker People' and 'Grave Goods' at Reading.’ Susan Greaney, Current Archaeology, Issue 349, April 2019

‘Timely and important. … The material from Wales is little known, yet has the potential to contribute to wider discussions regarding changes to social organisation, ritual practice and belief systems in prehistory. … This is a comprehensive analysis of a dataset that will be of interest to prehistorians working in Britain, Ireland and northwest Europe.’ Dr Joanna Brück, University of Bristol

‘This is a significant contribution that advances research into British prehistoric burial practices in a meaningful way.’ Dr Duncan Garrow, University of Reading

‘This is an innovative and original piece of work. … The analysis by the author of 257 human bone deposits from Neolithic and Bronze Age Wales provides a wealth of new patterns, observations and interpretations regarding burial rituals, funerary processes and a host of other insights. … This book also offers an important and up-to-date methodology for the future analysis of cremated bone.’ Dr Catriona Gibson, University of Reading

Table of Contents (B642_9781407316499_ToC.pdf, 207 Kb) [Download]

Introduction (B642_9781407316499_Introduction.pdf, 173 Kb) [Download]