Original Synthetic Report: Study of Neolithic human graves from Tell Qaramel in North Syria
AbstractAbstract - In this report we present the study of human skeletons and the mortuary practice in Tell Qaramel site in northern Syria during the period of the Pre Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA). The samples came from 12 graves which present both individual and collective burials and contain altogether 20 skeletons. All burials discovered are of adult individuals who were buried without cranium, or cranium alone, and in few cases buried with the entire skeleton. Analysis of these skeletal remains provides the most obvious proof of the cut head process and the circumstance according to which it is done. In some cases many cut marks on the second cervical vertebra are be noted indicating very likely that the separation of the head was made by a flint tool directly after the death. While in other cases the body seems buried until the flesh was decayed and then the burial is opened and only the skull is taken. Our results are compared with those of previous studies relating to Neolithic in northern and southern Syrian sites and in other sites in other regions of Middle Orient and North Africa in the aim to show the general evolution of the mortuary practice during the different periods of Neolithic and to show the religious and social beliefs governing burial rites at these periods. Key words: Tell Qaramel site, Syria, PPNA, PPNB, cut marks, mortuary practice.
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