"Ashes to ashes, dust to dust" –Natufian Cemeteries and Human Perceptions of Nature

Author(s): Leore Grosman; Natalie Munro

Year: 2017


A chief source of information on archaeological cultures is gathered from excavated cemeteries. Burial location and treatment provide insight into many aspects of the daily life, social organization, and ideology of past human populations. In particular, the location and organization of human interments can reveal how past cultures perceived their natural surroundings and their place within them. Through burial, an individual returns to the soil of their homeland symbolizing the connections between nature, the living and the dead. We explore this connection by investigating the burial locations of the Natufians, the last Palaeolithic culture in the southern Levant prior to the transition to early Neolithic entities. The unique cultural dynamics of the Natufian, shifts in subsistence strategies and the environmental setting of various sites are key for understanding the emergence of early agricultural communities. New insights into how this Natufian population perceived nature will be presented by investigating two very Late Natufian burial locations in Israel—Hilazon Tachtit cave in the western Galilee and Nahal Ein Gev II in the Jordan Valley, Israel.

Cite this Record

"Ashes to ashes, dust to dust" –Natufian Cemeteries and Human Perceptions of Nature. Leore Grosman, Natalie Munro. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429876)


Geographic Keywords
West Asia

Spatial Coverage

min long: 25.225; min lat: 15.115 ; max long: 66.709; max lat: 45.583 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15121