This report describes skeletal remains from the early Natufian site of Wadi Hammeh 27 in Jordan. At least seven individuals are represented, and although small, the collection is notable for the eclecticism of its mortuary practice. Modes of mortuary disposal and ritual include a single-primary burial, a collective-secondary burial, burnt human cranial fragments disposed in residential contexts, and the ochre staining of bones. The two burials come from the lowest phase of the site, with fragmentary burials and smaller amounts of material issuing from the upper phases. The primary inhumation is marked by a neighbouring pit, which seems to be augmented by other features through three subsequent stratigraphic phases. Artefact types accompanying the burials were limited to a single Dentalium shell necklace. Overall, the bone series represent gracile individuals with good nutritional and health status. The most extensive data was gained from Homo 1, whose skeleton revealed indications of high functional demands, including several healed injuries, arthritis, a preference for using the right arm, and severe wear of the first molars.
- Wadi Hammeh,
- funeral practices
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/steve_webb/7/