International Journal of Human Diversity and Evolution
Coverage: 1923-1941 (Vols. I-XIX) & 1962-2023 (Vols. 1-61)
ISSN 0323-1119 (Print)
ISSN 2570-9127 (Online)
Journal Impact Factor 0.2
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'Dočkalová M, 2001: Ritual or Ordinary Burial Rites at the Velim Bronze Age Site?. Anthropologie (Brno) 39, 2-3: 153-172'.
Archaeological site No. 27 from the Bronze Age, dated by means of grave-mound pottery, was discovered during field work on the hilly elevation "Skalka" in Velim (Czech Republic) between 1988 and 1994. This site was characterised by unusual findings with regard to the human skeletons buried there; these were probably victims of ritual sacrifice, both with and without demonstrable traces of killing. Of the 263 sites uncovered on Skalka hitherto, site 27 contained the highest concentration of human skeletons, accumulations of isolated human skulls, and isolated human and animal bones, as well as bone fragments. Stones of various size and entire ceramic vessels, as well as broken vessels, ceramic fragments and bronze objects, were deposited at the site. By means of an osteological analysis, it was determined that 11 children, 3 women and 2 men had been buried at site 27. The skulls of nine individuals and the incomplete skeletal remains of at least 69 people and 11 species of animals were also scattered about the site. These findings may be interpreted as evidence of ritual behaviour, which shed light on differences in the types of burial that were performed at Skalka during the Bronze Age. From the taphonomic point of view, the possibility of interpreting the determined number of individuals buried as well as killed was examined with regard to questions concerning spiritual culture.
Middle Bronze Age - Grave-mound culture - Velim - Czech Republic - Osteological identification - Human sacrifice - Burial rites

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