La MAE reçoit Yilmaz Selim ERDAL

« Bone or flesh: possible post-depositional treatments at Körtik Tepe (PPNA, Southeastern Anatolia) »

Dans le cadre de son cycle de conférences internationales, la MAE reçoit le Professeur Yilmaz Erdal (Université d’Hacettepe, Ankara) pour une conférence sur les pratiques funéraires complexes observées sur le site pré-céramique de Körtik Tepe dont l’état de conservation est exceptionnel.

Mercredi 8 octobre 2014
10h30, MAE, Salle du Conseil

There is a great variety in burial customs in Northern Mesopotamia. Post-depositional treatments, which have great spatial and temporal distribution in the Early Neolithic period of the Middle East, are only one of those variations. Cut-marks on ten individuals from Körtik Tepe, a Pre-Pottery Neolithic site in Southeastern Anatolia, Turkey, have been analyzed using a bioarchaeological approach. Six individuals possess cut-marks on their crania only whilst the other four, however, have cut-marks on both their cranial and postcranial bones. Differential diagnoses of these cut-marks suggest that these were made on fresh cadavers. Skeletal data and burials customs reveal that individuals with cut-marks do not exhibit evidence related to cannibalism, warfare, or violent death. However, it is known that the decomposition of the corpse has a central role in activities such as secondary burials, head removal, head plastering and skull or cranial burials throughout the Neolithic period in the Middle East. The cut-marks from Körtik Tepe are evaluated, together with other sites, as part of human intervention in the decomposition process, a post-burial practices rather than secondary burial. This conclusion is also supported by the application of plaster and paint as part of the burial customs. The process of defleshing is interpreted as an attempt to purify the corpse and separate death from life. Flesh can be interpreted as the most important item when separating between death and the living. Both the intentional treatments and natural decay as part of the burial customs might be processes to conclude the liminality of death.