Ochre, Ground Stone, and Wrapping the Dead in the Late Epipalaeolithic (Natufian) Levant: Revealing the Funerary Practices at Shubayqa 1, Jordan

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The appearance of rich and diverse funerary practices is one of the hallmarks of the Late Epipalaeolithic Natufian in the Levant. Numerous burials at a number of sites excavated mostly in the Mediterranean zone of the southern Levant have fed into the interpretation of the Natufian as a sedentary society of complex hunter-gatherers. Here, we report on the human remains recovered from Shubayqa 1, a well-dated early to late Natufian site in northeast Jordan. The majority of the minimum of 23 individuals that are represented are perinates and infants, which represents an atypical population profile. Ground stone artifacts and traces of colorants are associated with some of these individuals, providing a rare insight into funerary treatment of subadults in Natufian contexts. We interpret the Shubayqa 1 evidence in the light of current and ongoing debates concerning Natufian burial practices and the issue of social complexity.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Field Archaeology
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)440-457
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Number of downloads are based on statistics from Google Scholar and www.ku.dk

No data available

ID: 224647404