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Title: Birds in burials: The role of avifauna in Eneolithic Tripolye mortuary rituals
Contributor(s): Karsten, Jordan K (author); Sokhastskyi, Mykhailo (author); Ledogar, Sarah Heins  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2019
Early Online Version: 2017-11-27
DOI: 10.1007/s12520-017-0567-5
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Abstract: Bird remains are rare at Tripolye sites; therefore, researchers hypothesize that they were not an important economic resource for the Tripolye. The use of ornithographic iconography, vessels, and figurines suggests avifauna were important symbolically in Tripolye ideology. Here, we investigate the role of birds in a Tripolye burial context to assess their symbolic and/or economic significance in mortuary behaviours. We analysed bird remains from the Verteba Cave cemetery, located in western Ukraine and occupied by the Tripolye during phase BII through CII. Bird remains (n=178) comprise approximately 2% of the faunal sample excavated among human burials from the cave. In contrast to species represented symbolically in Tripolye art, water and marsh birds are majorly underrepresented. The bird assemblage is dominated by grouse ('Tetrao spp.'), and common quail ('Cortunix cortunix'), but also includes birds of prey, corvids, and many songbirds. The large number of gamebirds leads us to conclude that the avifauna from Verteba Cave are likely the remains from funeral feasts or food grave offerings. It also supports the idea that birds were a seasonal and local economic resource. The presence of birds of prey, corvids, and male black grouse also suggests that feathers may have been a desired resource.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, v.11, p. 6339-6352
Publisher: Springer
Place of Publication: Germany
ISSN: 1866-9565
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 210105 Archaeology of Europe, the Mediterranean and the Levant
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 430104 Archaeology of Europe, the Mediterranean and the Levant
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 950504 Understanding Europe's Past
970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 130704 Understanding Europe’s past
280113 Expanding knowledge in history, heritage and archaeology
280114 Expanding knowledge in Indigenous studies
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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