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VARIED LIVES, SHARED DEATHS DIVERSITY IN BURIAL PRACTICES AND BIOARCHAEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE

Author(s): Bickle, Penny (University of York) - Tvrdý, Zdeněk (Anthropos Institute, Moravian Museum) - Jarošová, Ivana (Freelancer; Anthropos Institute, Moravian Museum) - Richards, Michael (Simon Fraser University)

The funerary archaeology record of the Linearbandkeramik (LBK; 5500–5000 cal BC) is dominated by inhumations in cemeteries, but this is not the sole burial practice recorded for the culture. Cremation, disarticulation and secondary opening of inhumations are all attested to in the evidence. This, in combination with the few correlations between isotope data and burial practices, suggeststhat a straightforward connection between identity in life and treatment in death may not be drawn for the LBK. How then are we to combine bioarchaeological evidence, which provides information about life, with the burial record, which provides us with information about death? Drawing on multiple bioarchaeological evidence, this paper will explore what we can infer about life and death in the LBK culture, with a view to assessing current models of LBK social organisation. Specifically, the paper will focus primarily on the cemetery sites of Nitra (Slovakia) and Vedrovice (Czech Republic), though will draw on evidence from across the LBK. It will assess how best to combine different bioarchaeological methods with burial practices, including body position, orientation and grave goods. Isotope data from the LBK lifeways project (2008–2012) and the Vedrovice Bioarchaeology project (2005–2007) will be drawn on, alongside osteological studies and new research on the dental microwear from both cemeteries, carried out by Ivana Jarošová and Zdeněk Tvrdý.