Fragmented Bodies: Early Bronze Age Cremation Burials in Kilmagadwood, Scotland

Author(s): Aida Romera Barbera

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

There is a clear dichotomy between the practice of inhumation and the rite of cremation. From an anthropological perspective, a community’s preference for one or another reflects changes in its beliefs system. Conceivably, this occurred during the transition from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age when cremation became dominant. The symbolism that accompanies the cremation of the deceased, and its subsequent burial, has long been linked to transformation, fragmentation and reconstruction of the body. Furthermore, with cremation, the mourners have control over the changes inflicted to the body immediately after death. The discovery of a large Early Bronze Age urnfield cemetery in Kilmagadwood, Scotland, opens the door to further investigate the characteristics of such funerary program. Here we present data derived from the examination of cremated bones including osteological and paleopathological analysis, evidence for pyre technology and ritual and the formation process of the mortuary deposit. In addition, the analysis situates Kilmagadwood in the broader conversation about the perception of integrity and life histories of these Bronze Age fragmented bodies.

Cite this Record

Fragmented Bodies: Early Bronze Age Cremation Burials in Kilmagadwood, Scotland. Aida Romera Barbera. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449780)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -13.711; min lat: 35.747 ; max long: 8.965; max lat: 59.086 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 25629