Documenta Praehistorica XXXVII

Neolithic Studies 17


Eva Lenneis

Empty graves in LBK cemeteries – indications of special burial practises

161-178

DOI: 10.4312/dp.37.13

Abstract

After a short overview of LBK burial rites, I propose a definition of empty graves, distinguishing them from cenotaphs. Until now, empty graves have been found only in twelve LBK graveyards, comprising an average of 10.2% within these cemeteries, which seem to cluster in some regions and to be absent in others, which might be due in part to bad soil conditions for preserving skeletons. The proportion of empty graves within the graveyards varies considerably and is highest in Lower Austria/Moravia and Bavaria. Some 53% of the empty graves yielded no finds, 45% some ceramic remains and 10% stone tools only, or in addition (Fig. 3). There are never remains of ornaments, indicating that when the corpses were disinterred they were still securely wrapped in winding sheets. The open questions remain as to what kind of ritual treatment these bodies underwent next, and where the human remains were finally reburied.

Izvleček

Po kratkem pregledu LTK pokopnih praks predlagam definicijo praznih grobov, tako da jih ločimo od kenotafov. Prazni grobovi so bili do sedaj najdeni le na dvanajstih LTK grobiščih. V povprečju predstavljajo 10,2% grobov v grobiščih. Opazne so njihove zgostitve v nekaterih regijah in odsotnost v drugih, kar je lahko posledica slabe ohranjenost kosti v agresivnih okoljih sedimentov. Dele∫ praznih grobov v grobiščih močno variira in je najvišji v Spodnji Avstriji, na Moravskem in Bavarskem. V 53% praznih grobov ni najdb, v 45% se pojavljajo keramične najdbe, v 10% pa tudi ali samo kamena orodja (Sl. 3). Nikoli ni ostankov okrasja, kar je indic, da so bila trupla ob izkopu še vedno zavita v mrtvaški prt. Ostaja vprašanje, v kakšne rituale so bila ta trupla vkljušena in kje so bili njihovi ostanki pokopani za tem.

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© Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana 2010