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Shanidar et ses fleurs? Reflections on the palynology of the Neanderthal ‘Flower Burial’ hypothesis

Hunt, CO, Pomeroy, E, Reynolds, T, Tilby, E and Barker, G (2023) Shanidar et ses fleurs? Reflections on the palynology of the Neanderthal ‘Flower Burial’ hypothesis. Journal of Archaeological Science, 159. ISSN 0305-4403

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Pollen clumps associated with the skeleton of the Shanidar 4 Neanderthal were interpreted by the excavator as evidence for a purposeful burial with flowers. This was one of several findings from Shanidar Cave that helped to shape modern perceptions of Neanderthals as sharing empathic characteristics with Middle Palaeolithic Homo sapiens (modern humans). Here the available evidence is reviewed critically from a palynological viewpoint. It seems likely that at least some of the pollen clumps were emplaced by nesting solitary bees, though other mechanisms may also have been involved. Shanidar 4 remains of notable importance, however, in being part of a tight cluster of remarkably complete and deliberately emplaced Neanderthal skeletal remains.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0402 Geochemistry; 0403 Geology; 2101 Archaeology; Archaeology
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QK Botany
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (from Sep 19)
Publisher: Elsevier BV
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2023 12:26
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2023 13:30
DOI or ID number: 10.1016/j.jas.2023.105822
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/21025
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