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Stone Dead: Uncovering Early Mesolithic Mortuary Rites, Hermitage, Ireland

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Stone Dead : Uncovering Early Mesolithic Mortuary Rites, Hermitage, Ireland. / Little, Aimee Patrice; van Gijn, Annelou; Collins, Tracy; Cooney, Gabriel; Elliott, Benjamin Joseph; Gilhooly, Bernard; Charlton, Sophy ; Warren, Graeme.

In: Cambridge Archaeological Journal, Vol. 27, No. 2, 01.05.2017, p. 223-243.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Harvard

Little, AP, van Gijn, A, Collins, T, Cooney, G, Elliott, BJ, Gilhooly, B, Charlton, S & Warren, G 2017, 'Stone Dead: Uncovering Early Mesolithic Mortuary Rites, Hermitage, Ireland', Cambridge Archaeological Journal, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 223-243. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0959774316000536

APA

Little, A. P., van Gijn, A., Collins, T., Cooney, G., Elliott, B. J., Gilhooly, B., Charlton, S., & Warren, G. (2017). Stone Dead: Uncovering Early Mesolithic Mortuary Rites, Hermitage, Ireland. Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 27(2), 223-243. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0959774316000536

Vancouver

Little AP, van Gijn A, Collins T, Cooney G, Elliott BJ, Gilhooly B et al. Stone Dead: Uncovering Early Mesolithic Mortuary Rites, Hermitage, Ireland. Cambridge Archaeological Journal. 2017 May 1;27(2):223-243. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0959774316000536

Author

Little, Aimee Patrice ; van Gijn, Annelou ; Collins, Tracy ; Cooney, Gabriel ; Elliott, Benjamin Joseph ; Gilhooly, Bernard ; Charlton, Sophy ; Warren, Graeme. / Stone Dead : Uncovering Early Mesolithic Mortuary Rites, Hermitage, Ireland. In: Cambridge Archaeological Journal. 2017 ; Vol. 27, No. 2. pp. 223-243.

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@article{d861410203ab45c6b8ba4959235873ea,
title = "Stone Dead: Uncovering Early Mesolithic Mortuary Rites, Hermitage, Ireland",
abstract = "In Europe, cremation as a burial practice is often associated with the Bronze Age, but examples of cremated human remains are in fact known from the Palaeolithic onwards. Unlike conventional inhumation, cremation destroys most of the evidence we can use to reconstruct the biography of the buried individual. Remarkably, in Ireland, cremation is used for the earliest recorded human burial and grave assemblage (7530–7320 bc ) located on the banks of the River Shannon, at Hermitage, County Limerick. While we are unable to reconstruct in any great detail the biography of this individual, we have examined the biography of a polished stone adzehead interred with their remains. To our knowledge, this adze represents the earliest securely dated polished axe or adze in Europe. Microscopic analysis reveals that the adze was commissioned for burial, with a short duration of use indicating its employment in funerary rites. Before its deposition into the grave it was intentionally blunted, effectively ending its use-life: analogous to the death of the individual it accompanied. The microwear traces on this adze thus provide a rare insight into early Mesolithic hunter-gatherer belief systems surrounding death, whereby tools played an integral part in mortuary rites and were seen as fundamental pieces of equipment for a successful afterlife.",
author = "Little, {Aimee Patrice} and {van Gijn}, Annelou and Tracy Collins and Gabriel Cooney and Elliott, {Benjamin Joseph} and Bernard Gilhooly and Sophy Charlton and Graeme Warren",
note = "{\textcopyright} 2016, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher{\textquoteright}s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.",
year = "2017",
month = may,
day = "1",
doi = "10.1017/S0959774316000536",
language = "English",
volume = "27",
pages = "223--243",
journal = "Cambridge Archaeological Journal",
issn = "0959-7743",
publisher = "Cambridge University Press",
number = "2",

}

RIS (suitable for import to EndNote) - Download

TY - JOUR

T1 - Stone Dead

T2 - Uncovering Early Mesolithic Mortuary Rites, Hermitage, Ireland

AU - Little, Aimee Patrice

AU - van Gijn, Annelou

AU - Collins, Tracy

AU - Cooney, Gabriel

AU - Elliott, Benjamin Joseph

AU - Gilhooly, Bernard

AU - Charlton, Sophy

AU - Warren, Graeme

N1 - © 2016, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

PY - 2017/5/1

Y1 - 2017/5/1

N2 - In Europe, cremation as a burial practice is often associated with the Bronze Age, but examples of cremated human remains are in fact known from the Palaeolithic onwards. Unlike conventional inhumation, cremation destroys most of the evidence we can use to reconstruct the biography of the buried individual. Remarkably, in Ireland, cremation is used for the earliest recorded human burial and grave assemblage (7530–7320 bc ) located on the banks of the River Shannon, at Hermitage, County Limerick. While we are unable to reconstruct in any great detail the biography of this individual, we have examined the biography of a polished stone adzehead interred with their remains. To our knowledge, this adze represents the earliest securely dated polished axe or adze in Europe. Microscopic analysis reveals that the adze was commissioned for burial, with a short duration of use indicating its employment in funerary rites. Before its deposition into the grave it was intentionally blunted, effectively ending its use-life: analogous to the death of the individual it accompanied. The microwear traces on this adze thus provide a rare insight into early Mesolithic hunter-gatherer belief systems surrounding death, whereby tools played an integral part in mortuary rites and were seen as fundamental pieces of equipment for a successful afterlife.

AB - In Europe, cremation as a burial practice is often associated with the Bronze Age, but examples of cremated human remains are in fact known from the Palaeolithic onwards. Unlike conventional inhumation, cremation destroys most of the evidence we can use to reconstruct the biography of the buried individual. Remarkably, in Ireland, cremation is used for the earliest recorded human burial and grave assemblage (7530–7320 bc ) located on the banks of the River Shannon, at Hermitage, County Limerick. While we are unable to reconstruct in any great detail the biography of this individual, we have examined the biography of a polished stone adzehead interred with their remains. To our knowledge, this adze represents the earliest securely dated polished axe or adze in Europe. Microscopic analysis reveals that the adze was commissioned for burial, with a short duration of use indicating its employment in funerary rites. Before its deposition into the grave it was intentionally blunted, effectively ending its use-life: analogous to the death of the individual it accompanied. The microwear traces on this adze thus provide a rare insight into early Mesolithic hunter-gatherer belief systems surrounding death, whereby tools played an integral part in mortuary rites and were seen as fundamental pieces of equipment for a successful afterlife.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84992154396&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1017/S0959774316000536

DO - 10.1017/S0959774316000536

M3 - Article

VL - 27

SP - 223

EP - 243

JO - Cambridge Archaeological Journal

JF - Cambridge Archaeological Journal

SN - 0959-7743

IS - 2

ER -