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Stratum plus. 2010. №2

T. Fernández Crespo (Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain)

Use of Fire in Neo-Eneolithic Mass Graves: Defi nition, Attempt of Interpretation and Differential Diagnosis

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Pages: 261-268

The article is a review of the use of fire in the Neo-Eneolithic mass graves. The main characteristics of this practice are analyzed based on the data from the Iberian Peninsula. Then, the most acceptable interpretations around its role are set out, which connect cremation processes to many different factors like accidental fires, development of funerary rituals, or a more complex intention that some authors call “bureaucratic”. Finally, since presence of signs produced by fire on human remains has never been adequately discussed, the author presents a proposal for differential diagnosis, focused on the analysis of the resulting coloration and of the original and final state of bones.

Keywords: fire, mass graves, Iberian Peninsula, Neolithic, Eneolithic

Information about author

Teresa Fernández Crespo (Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain). PhD researcher. University of the Basque Country.
Е-mail: [email protected]

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