Document Detail

A unique human-fox burial from a pre-Natufian cemetery in the Levant (Jordan).
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21298094     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
New human burials from northern Jordan provide important insights into the appearance of cemeteries and the nature of human-animal relationships within mortuary contexts during the Epipalaeolithic period (c. 23,000-11,600 cal BP) in the Levant, reinforcing a socio-ideological relationship that goes beyond predator-prey. Previous work suggests that archaeological features indicative of social complexity occur suddenly during the latest Epipalaeolithic phase, the Natufian (c. 14,500-11,600 cal BP). These features include sedentism, cemeteries, architecture, food production, including animal domestication, and burials with elaborate mortuary treatments. Our findings from the pre-Natufian (Middle Epipalaeolithic) cemetery of 'Uyun al-Hammam demonstrate that joint human-animal mortuary practices appear earlier in the Epipalaeolithic. We describe the earliest human-fox burial in the Near East, where the remains of dogs have been found associated with human burials at a number of Natufian sites. This is the first time that a fox has been documented in association with human interments pre-dating the Natufian and with a particular suite of grave goods. Analysis of the human and animal bones and their associated artefacts provides critical data on the nature and timing of these newly-developing relationships between people and animals prior to the appearance of domesticated dogs in the Natufian.
Lisa A Maher; Jay T Stock; Sarah Finney; James J N Heywood; Preston T Miracle; Edward B Banning
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2011-01-26
Journal Detail:
Title:  PloS one     Volume:  6     ISSN:  1932-6203     ISO Abbreviation:  PLoS ONE     Publication Date:  2011  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-02-07     Completed Date:  2011-08-02     Revised Date:  2013-06-30    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101285081     Medline TA:  PLoS One     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  e15815     Citation Subset:  IM    
Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
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MeSH Terms
Burial / methods*

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