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Social discrimination through the grave: Identity and status of the dead in the Cerny culture (Middle Neolithic, Paris Basin, France)

Abstract : During the 5th millennium BC the Paris Basin witnesses the emergence of the first necropolis and funerary monumentality. Associated with the Cerny Culture, these vestiges offer a privileged insight into the social transformations of Middle Neolithic communities in France. Following bioarchaeological analyses, the aim of this paper is to compare and discuss the social status of the dead in the monumental cemeteries characterised by their long barrows, and the flat graves without structures. The biological identity of the dead (age-at-death and sex), the grave goods and the spatial organisation of the graves underlines the prominence and the role of diverse categories of individuals, which could be related to different social ranks ordered into a hierarchy. The women are marginalised and few men appear to be the central figures of the monumental cemeteries. Surprisingly the same individualisation is present in flat cemeteries and the mortuary organisation suggests similar status. The highly structured society of the dead as it appears inside and outside the giant enclosures questions the monument as a significant element of social discriminations.
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https://hal-mnhn.archives-ouvertes.fr/mnhn-02550529
Contributor : Aline Thomas <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, April 22, 2020 - 11:50:25 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, April 23, 2020 - 2:44:04 PM

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  • HAL Id : mnhn-02550529, version 1

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Aline Thomas. Social discrimination through the grave: Identity and status of the dead in the Cerny culture (Middle Neolithic, Paris Basin, France). Anthropologie - International Journal of Human Diversity and Evolution, Anthropos Institute, 2014, LII (1), pp.171-182. ⟨mnhn-02550529⟩

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