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Preliminary reports on the 2016-2017 excavation of the Neolithic ossuary and terrace

De Groote, I, Di Modica, K, Gregory, A, Irish, JD, Crombe, P, Vandendriessche, H and Bonjean, D (2020) Preliminary reports on the 2016-2017 excavation of the Neolithic ossuary and terrace. Notae Praehistoricae, 39. pp. 143-151. ISSN 0774-3327

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This article reports on the first three systematic excavation seasons at the Neolithic ossuary of Grotte de La Faucille, Belgium. The site was dated on human bone to 4266 ± 40 14C BP (3011-2702 cal BC; 2 sigma), corresponding to the transition from the late to the final Neolithic. The area excavated to date is clearly reworked and the individuals are distributed across the site. Further excavation will focus on the inferior levels at the entrance and inside the cave. This report presents the preliminary analysis of the anthropological and archaeological evidence recorded to date. Five archaeological artefacts were discovered made on bone, tooth and flint. The site has produced skeletal and dental remains of at least 12 humans (MNI 6 juveniles and 6 adults) as well as a number of bone and lithic artefacts. The skeletal remains are fragmentary and some elements, such as the cranium, are highly underrepresented given the number of individuals. The potential to find the remainder of at least 12 individuals is promising and continued excavation may result in one of the largest recent excavation of a multiple Neolithic burial site of the 21st century. The results presented here and ongoing analysis have the potential to significantly expand our understanding of the mortuary behaviours, or variation in behaviours, of the Belgian Neolithic and contribute further to the lively debate on the spread of the Neolithic.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (from Sep 19)
Publisher: Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2020 10:07
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2024 11:01
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12236
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