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Human Burial Evidence from Hattab II Cave and the Question of Continuity in Late Pleistocene–Holocene Mortuary Practices in Northwest Africa

  • Nick Barton (a1), Abdeljalil Bouzouggar (a2), Louise Humphrey (a3), Peter Berridge (a4), Simon Collcutt (a5), Rowena Gale (a6), Simon Parfitt (a7), Adrian Parker (a8), Edward Rhodes (a9) and Jean-Luc Schwenninger (a10)...


Archaeological excavations in 2002–3 at Hattab II Cave in northwestern Morocco revealed an undisturbed Late Palaeolithic Iberomaurusian human burial. This is the first Iberomaurusian inhumation discovered in the region. The skeleton is probably that of a male aged between 25 and 30 years. The individual shows a characteristic absence of the central upper incisors reported in other Iberomaurusian burials. Accompanying the burial are a stone core and a number of grave goods including bone points, a marine gastropod and a gazelle horn core. Thermoluminescence dating of a burnt stone artefact in association with the burial has provided an age of 8900?1100 bp. This is one of the youngest ages reported for the Iberomaurusian and raises questions about persistence of hunter-gatherer societies in the Maghreb and the potential for continuity in burial practices with the earliest Neolithic.


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Cambridge Archaeological Journal
  • ISSN: 0959-7743
  • EISSN: 1474-0540
  • URL: /core/journals/cambridge-archaeological-journal
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