Disarticulated Human Bone Disposal During the Mesolithic, Neolithic and Chalcolithic in the Balkans and Greece


Resulting from both methodological and theoretical advances in funerary archaeology, disarticulated human remains as becoming increasingly recognized as resulting from complex death-ways in European prehistory. In the Balkans and Greece, this coupled with more sophisticated archaeological investigations in last 15 years, has led to the discovery of further prehistoric sites with disarticulated human bone deposits. For instance, the Late Neolithic/Early Chalcolitic site of Alba Iulia-Lumea Nouă was recently discovered, containing a vast number of disarticulated human remains, unparalleled at contemporary European sites. Although remarkable, Lumea Nouă is not the only instance of prehistoric body disarticulation in the Balkans and Greece. In this article, the three authors have combined specialisms in physical anthropology, cultural studies and fragmentation research to investigate practice of dividing the body and burying disarticulated human bones. An overview of their latest research into disarticulated bone assemblages in the Danube Gorges (‘Iron Gates’) Mesolithic–Neolithic sites is presented along with new analysis of disarticulated human bones from Neolithic sites in Northern Greece, placing the Alba Iulia finds into their wider context

Danube Gorges Mesolithic and Neolithic, Iron Gates, Greek Neolithic, Balkan Neolithic and Chalcolithic