Different Burial Types But Common Practice

The case of the funerary complex at Barbuise and La Saulsotte (France) at the beginning of the Late Bronze Age

Authored by: Stéphane Rottier

The Routledge Handbook of Archaeothanatology

Print publication date:  April  2022
Online publication date:  April  2022

Print ISBN: 9781138492424
eBook ISBN: 9781351030625
Adobe ISBN:


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At the beginning of the Late Bronze Age (14th to the 12th centuries BC), the riverine confluences of the southeast Paris Basin hosted a necropolis containing two apparently very different types of burials. The grave types were divided into two main groups based on their shapes on the surface of the site: ‘short-pit’ graves with the deceased sitting or squatting, and ‘elongated-pit’ graves with the deceased lying supinely. The latter are also distinguished by the number of individuals they include: one or more, and usually two. However, a detailed analysis of these grave types shows that they are not necessarily fundamentally different. In particular, they both reflect a common practice aimed at the recovery of human remains after deposition. Examples of burials from Frécul at Barbuise and La Saulsotte show the importance and relevance of a functional approach to the study of funerary treatments to form a more general perspective of the behaviours surrounding death within this early Late Bronze Age society.

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