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Protohistoric graveyards of the Swat Valley, Pakistan: new light on funerary practices and absolute chronology

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 April 2017

Massimo Vidale
Dipartimento dei Beni Culturali, Università degli Studi di Padova, Piazza Capitaniato 7, 35139 Padua, Italy
Roberto Micheli*
Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo, Soprintendenza Archeologia, Belle Arti e Paesaggio del Friuli Venezia Giulia, Piazza della Libertà 7, 34135 Trieste, Italy
*Author for correspondence (Email:


The protohistoric graveyards of north-western Pakistan were first excavated in the 1960s, but their chronology is still debated, along with their relationship to broader regional issues of ethnic and cultural change. Recent excavation of two graveyards in the Swat Valley has provided new dating evidence and a much better understanding both of grave structure and treatment of the dead. Secondary burial was documented at Udegram, along with the use of perishable containers and other objects as grave goods. The complexity of the funerary practices reveal the prolonged interaction between the living and the dead in protohistoric Swat.

Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd, 2017 

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