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  • Death Rituals, Social Order and the Archaeology of Immortality in the Ancient World

    Modern archaeology has amassed considerable evidence for the disposal of the dead through burials, cemeteries, and other monuments. Drawing on this body of evidence, this book off ers fresh insight into how early human societies conceived of death and the afterlife. The twenty-seven essays in this volume consider the rituals and responses to death in prehistoric societies across the world, from eastern Asia through Europe to the Americas, and from the very earliest times before developed religious beliefs off ered scriptural answers to these questions. Compiled and written by leading prehistorians and archaeologists, this volume traces the emergence of death as a concept in early times, as well as a contributing factor to the formation of communities and social hierarchies, and sometimes the creation of divinities.

    Colin Renfrew (Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn) was formerly Disney Professor of Archaeology and Director of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at the University of Cambridge. He is author of many infl uential books on archaeology and prehistory, including, most recently with Paul G. Bahn, The Cambridge World Prehistory (Cambridge University Press, 2014).

    Michael J.  Boyd is a Senior Research Associate at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at the University of Cambridge. He is co-director of the Keros-Naxos Seaways project, assistant director of the Keros Island Survey and co-editor of the Keros publications series. He is co-editor of a volume on funerary archaeology, Staging Death .

    Iain Morley is Lecturer in Palaeoanthropology and Human Sciences at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of St. Hugh’s College. He has published numerous articles and books, including Becoming Human:  Innovation in Prehistoric Material and Spiritual Culture and Image and Imagination: A Global Prehistory of Figurative Representation (both coedited with Colin Renfrew), as well as The Prehistory of Music .

    www.cambridge.org© in this web service Cambridge University Press

    Cambridge University Press 978-1-107-08273-1 - Death Rituals, Social Order and the Archaeology of Immortality in the Ancient World: “Death Shall Have No Dominion” Edited by Colin Renfrew, Michael J. Boyd and Iain Morley Frontmatter More information

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  • ‘The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living’, Damien Hirst, 1991. (Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd. © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2015).

    www.cambridge.org© in this web service Cambridge University Press

    Cambridge University Press 978-1-107-08273-1 - Death Rituals, Social Order and the Archaeology of Immortality in the Ancient World: “Death Shall Have No Dominion” Edited by Colin Renfrew, Michael J. Boyd and Iain Morley Frontmatter More information

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  • Death Rituals, Social Order and the Archaeology of Immortality in the

    Ancient World “Death Shall Have No Dominion”

    Edited by

    C O L I N R E N F R E W

    M I C H A E L J .   B OY D

    I A I N   M O R L E Y

    www.cambridge.org© in this web service Cambridge University Press

    Cambridge University Press 978-1-107-08273-1 - Death Rituals, Social Order and the Archaeology of Immortality in the Ancient World: “Death Shall Have No Dominion” Edited by Colin Renfrew, Michael J. Boyd and Iain Morley Frontmatter More information

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  • 32 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10013-2473,  USA

    Cambridge University Press is part of the University of Cambridge.

    It furthers the University’s mission by disseminating knowledge in the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence.

    www.cambridge.org Information on this title:  www.cambridge.org/9781107082731

    © Cambridge University Press 2016

    This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written

    permission of Cambridge University Press.

    First published 2016

    Printed in the United Kingdom by TJ International Ltd. Padstow Cornwall

    A catalog record for this publication is available from the British Library.

    Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Death rituals, social order and the archaeology of immortality in the ancient world :

    death shall have no dominion / edited by Colin Renfrew, Michael J. Boyd, Iain Morley. pages cm

    Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-1-107-08273-1 (hardback)

    1. Funeral rites and ceremonies, Ancient. 2. Death – Social aspects. I. Renfrew, Colin, 1937– editor. GT 3170. D 43 2015

    306.909′01–dc23 2015005350

    ISBN 978-1-107-08273-1 Hardback

    Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URL s for external or third-party Internet Web sites referred to in this publication and does not guarantee that any content on such Web sites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.

    www.cambridge.org© in this web service Cambridge University Press

    Cambridge University Press 978-1-107-08273-1 - Death Rituals, Social Order and the Archaeology of Immortality in the Ancient World: “Death Shall Have No Dominion” Edited by Colin Renfrew, Michael J. Boyd and Iain Morley Frontmatter More information

    http://www.cambridge.org/9781107082731 http://www.cambridge.org http://www.cambridge.org

  • On Going to a Conference about Death and Immortality (For Colin Renfrew)

    I pass the graves that are houses On the way. Death has spread Its dominion into the stories That we live. Cemeteries have changed Their form, have become cars, Or the diminishing trees, but especially Our offi ces and careers, where We pass from living into something Else, between being and not being. Often we forget to breathe, And the fl owers remind us in vain. All the metal we have dug up or made Are the armature of our open graves. Once we knew we were alive Because an ache in the fl esh Sang to the unanswering sky Or some love that possessed Us like the ghosts we live amongst Howls in our sleep when no-one Hears. We were born with a shaping Fire, but elude the fl ame Meant to burn us into being. Sometimes we catch a glimpse Of a ghost in the window, And wonder at its resemblance To how we seem. Cities devour The earth; the dead have changed Places with the living, and wonder How easy it is to be alive being dead.

    (Ben Okri, 2012)

    www.cambridge.org© in this web service Cambridge University Press

    Cambridge University Press 978-1-107-08273-1 - Death Rituals, Social Order and the Archaeology of Immortality in the Ancient World: “Death Shall Have No Dominion” Edited by Colin Renfrew, Michael J. Boyd and Iain Morley Frontmatter More information

    http://www.cambridge.org/9781107082731 http://www.cambridge.org http://www.cambridge.org

  • www.cambridge.org© in this web service Cambridge University Press

    Cambridge University Press 978-1-107-08273-1 - Death Rituals, Social Order and the Archaeology of Immortality in the Ancient World: “Death Shall Have No Dominion” Edited by Colin Renfrew, Michael J. Boyd and Iain Morley Frontmatter More information

    http://www.cambridge.org/9781107082731 http://www.cambridge.org http://www.cambridge.org

  • vii

    Contents

    List of Illustrations page xi

    List of Tables xvi

    Notes on Contributors xvii

    Preface xxiii

    1. ‘The Unanswered Question’: Investigating Early Conceptualisations of Death 1 Colin Renfrew

    I Intimations of Mortality 2. Non-Human Animal Responses towards the

    Dead and Death: A Comparative Approach to Understanding the Evolution of Human Mortuary Practices 15 Alexander K. Piel and Fiona A. Stewart

    3. Lower and Middle Palaeolithic Mortuary Behaviours and the Origins of Ritual Burial 27 João Zilhão

    4. Upper Palaeolithic Mortuary Practices: Refl ection of Ethnic Affi liation, Social Complexity, and Cultural Turnover 45 Francesco d’Errico and Marian Vanhaeren

    II Mortality and the Foundations of Human Society: Sedentism and the Collective 5. Gathering of the Dead? The Early Neolithic

    Sanctuaries of Göbekli Tepe, Southeastern Turkey 65 Jens Notroff , Oliver Dietrich, and Klaus Schmidt

    www.cambridge.org© in this web service Cambridge University Press

    Cambridge University Press 978-1-107-08273-1 - Death Rituals, Social Order and the Archaeology of Immortality in the Ancient World: “Death Shall Have No Dominion” Edited by Colin Renfrew, Michael J. Boyd and Iain Morley Frontmatter More information

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  • C O N T E N T S

    viii

    6. Death and Archite