Session: #869

Theme & Session Format

1. The Material Record: Current Trends and Future Directions
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

CANCELLED: From Fragments to Fusion: Reimagining Mortuary Practices in Western Asia Through the Integration of Human and Faunal Remains
Human and faunal remains are frequently associated in mortuary practices. The instances range from single fragmentary animal bones in human burials through secondary deposits of both human and nonhuman animal remains to complete animal skeletons side by side with humans. In particular single and fragmented animal remains are often under-reported or summarily mentioned as part of the grave offerings. In this session, we aim to take a closer look at this practice, including the range of species and skeletal elements represented (paying also close attention to what might be considered unusual or even intrusive species), in order to better understand the variation and roles of animals when incorporated into depositions of human remains. While many may be and traditionally have been interpreted as food, either as part of funerary celebrations of the living, kispum or food for the deceased, we here encourage papers that explore the underlying relations and practices, the role of nonhuman animals, and the fragmentary nature of such remains.
The session focuses on papers examining material from Western Asia as broadly conceived. As this is already a large area with a wide range of different practices, we aim to use this as a starting point that may later be extended to include other regions. The time period is open, and papers can focus on a specific period and site, or explore diachronic developments.
We encourage papers devoted to:
- Animal burials
- Animal bones in human burials
- Methodological approaches to studying commingled animal and human remains in burials
- Animal symbolism in (funerary contexts, ancient texts & art representations
Animal, Sacrifice, Offering, Grave goods, Discard, Fragmented
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Main organiser:
Arwa KHAROBI (Czech Republic) 1
Lærke RECHT (Austria) 2
1. Masaryk University
2. University of Graz