Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


4 October 2016

Funerary variability in late eighth-century B.C.E. Attica (Late Geometric II)

Alexandra Alexandridou American Journal of Archaeology 120.3 (July 2016): 333-360


Attic mortuary practices of the last three decades of the eighth century B.C.E. (Late Geometric [LG] II) are principally marked by the dominance for adults of inhumation over cremation. Nevertheless, this transformation was not universally applied at all burial sites in Attica. Instead, funerary rites present a high degree of variability unprecedented in earlier periods. The Late Geometric burial record has been considered in certain quarters to be a reflection of the changes in contemporary social structures affected by the emergence of the polis. The collection and study of all LG II funerary evidence, not only that from Athens or the well-excavated and published necropoleis of Attica, lead to several interesting observations that demand a reconsideration of the attested funerary variability and the proposed interpretations. The treatment of the deceased seems to have largely depended on their age, with all age groups represented in the organized necropoleis. Thus, the discerned horizontal dimension of the mortuary rites needs to be addressed within the framework of contemporary Attic social developments.

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