On the scent of an animal skin: New evidence on Corded Ware mortuary practices in Northern Europe

Marja Ahola*, Tuija Kirkinen, Krista Vajanto, Janne Ruokolainen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The Late Neolithic Corded Ware Culture (c. 2800-2300 BC) of Northern Europe is characterised by specific sets of grave goods and mortuary practices, but the organic components of these grave sets are poorly represented in the archaeological record. New microscopic analyses of soil samples collected during the 1930s from the Perttulanmaki grave in western Finland have, however, revealed preserved Neolithic animal hairs. Despite mineralisation, the species of animal has been successfully identified and offers the oldest evidence for domestic goat in Neolithic Finland, indicating a pastoral herding economy. The mortuary context of the goat hair also suggests that animals played a significant role in the Corded Ware belief system.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)118-131
    Number of pages14
    JournalAntiquity
    Volume92
    Issue number361
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Keywords

    • Finland
    • Neolithic
    • Corded Ware
    • mortuary practice
    • animal husbandry
    • HUSBANDRY
    • SOUTHERN
    • CULTURE
    • FINLAND
    • AGE

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