Grave Markers: Middle and Early Upper Paleolithic Burials and the Use of Chronotypology in Contemporary Paleolithic Research

Author(s): Julien Riel‐Salvatore and Geoffrey A. Clark Reviewed work(s): Source: Current Anthropology, Vol. 42, No. 4 (August/October 2001), pp. 449-479 Published by: The University of Chicago Press on behalf of Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research Stable URL: . Accessed: 21/11/2011 07:19
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C u r r e n t A n t h r o p o l o g y Volume 42, Number 4, August–October 2001
2001 by The Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. All rights reserved 0011-3204/2001/4204-0001$3.00

Grave Markers
Middle and Early Upper Paleolithic Burials and the Use of Chronotypology in Contemporary Paleolithic Research1 by Julien Riel-Salvatore and Geoffrey A. Clark

Comparison of mortuary data from the Middle and Early Upper Paleolithic archaeological record shows that, contrary to previous assessments, there is much evidence for continuity between the two periods. This suggests that if R. H. Gargett’s critique of alleged Middle Paleolithic burials is to be given credence, it should also be applied to the “burials” of the Early Upper Paleolithic. Evidence for continuity reinforces conclusions derived from lithic and faunal analyses and site locations that the Upper Paleolithic as a reified category masks much variation in the archaeological record and is therefore not an appropriate analytical tool. Dividing the Upper Paleolithic into Early and Late phases might be helpful for understanding the cultural and biological processes at work. j u l i e n r i e l - s a l v a t o r e is currently a graduate research fellow at the Archaeological Research Institute, Department of Anthropology, Arizona State University (Tempe, Ariz. 85287-2402, U.S.A. []). Born in 1977, he was educated at McGill University (B.A., Honours, 1999) and at Arizona State University (M.A., 2001). He has conducted fieldwork in Spain and Italy, and his research interests include the symbolic capacities of Eurasian Paleolithic hominids, lithic technology and classification, rock art, and research frameworks and traditions. g e o f f r e y a . c l a r k is Distinguished Research Professor of Anthropology at Arizona State University. Born in 1944, he was educated at the University of Arizona (B.A., 1966; M.A., 1967) and the University of Chicago (Ph.D., 1971). His recent publications deal with the logic of inference in modern-humanorigins research (e.g., with John Lindly, “Modern Human Origins in the Levant and Western Asia,” American Anthropologist 91: 962–85, and “Symbolism and Modern Human Origins,” current anthropology 31:233–61) and applications of neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory in archaeology and human paleontology (e.g., with coeditor Mike Barton, Rediscovering Darwin [Washington, D.C.: American Anthropological Association, 1997]). The present paper was submitted 20 iii 00 and accepted 2 i 01. 1. We are grateful to many friends and colleagues for helping us bring this work to fruition. We thank Bill Kimbel (Institute of Human Origins, Arizona State University) for incisive comments on an earlier draft; we have tried to incorporate his suggestions whenever possible. We also acknowledge the useful remarks of two anon-

Since it was recognized in the early 20th century that Upper Paleolithic humans buried their dead (Defleur 1993:17–18), debate has raged over whether the practice also existed in the Middle Paleolithic. Although often implicit, this controversy is linked to perceptions of the respective cognitive capacities of Middle and Upper Paleolithic hominids and thus deeply imbedded in the controversy over the origins of modern humans. Although many archaeologists and physical anthropologists working with Paleolithic material have come to accept the existence of Middle Paleolithic burials, their meaning in behavioral terms is still much discussed (Chase and Dibble 1987, Hayden 1993). In 1989, Robert Gargett proposed that all of what had typically been accepted as evidence of Middle Paleolithic burials could be explained in terms of natural processes. For him, burials first appeared in the Upper Paleolithic, presumably as part of a “symbolic explosion” heralding modern behavior claimed by some archaeologists to have taken place at the Middle–Upper Paleolithic transition, roughly 35,000 years b.p. (see, e.g., White 1989a, b). Although his view was met with much skepticism (e.g., Belfer-Cohen and Hovers 1992, Hayden 1993, Defleur 1993, Gargett 1989, Louwe Kooijmans et al. 1989), Gargett has recently published another paper on the issue (1999). In this latest salvo he attributes more cases, including some recent ones that were excavated more “scientifically,” to natural depositional and taphonomic processes. While his call for a more rigorous examination of alternative explanations for Middle Paleolithic burials is welcome, we suggest that his view is too extreme. BelferCohen and Hovers (1992) have convincingly argued that if Gargett’s criteria for Middle Paleolithic burials were to be applied to the Natufian burials of the Near East, we would still fall short of conclusive evidence of purposeful burial in that region. This suggests that Gargett is selective in the application of his principles—an approach that he never adequately justifies. We argue here that the only way in which his approach could be justified would be to submit the earliest, if not all, Upper Paleolithic burials to the same critical scrutiny. We propose to test some of the implications of Gargett’s position by comparing the Middle Paleolithic evidence with that for the Early Upper Paleolithic. If, as Gargett (1999: 30) argues, burial practices developed only in the Upper Paleolithic, no Upper Paleolithic burials from any period should share any significant patterns with putative burials from the Middle Paleolithic.

ymous referees. Filippo Salvatore (Concordia University) and Steve Schmich (Arizona State University) read earlier versions of the manuscript and provided useful comments. We thank Alexandra de Sousa (George Washington University) for stimulating discussions on the nature of Paleolithic burial, the subject of her B.A. honors thesis at Arizona State University. We are, of course, responsible for all errors of fact or omission.


450 F c u r r e n t a n t h ro p o l o g y Volume 42, Number 4, August–October 2001

The Question of the Early Upper Paleolithic
Recent work in various areas of the Old World has provided scholars with “hard” evidence that what is often interpreted as typically Middle Paleolithic behavior, notably subsistence strategies and tool making, shifted to typically Upper Paleolithic patterns only after about 20,000 years ago (Lindly and Clark 1990, Duff, Clark, and Chadderdon 1992, Stiner 1994, Kuhn 1995). In fact, observable patterns often show a great deal of continuity across “cultures” and over time (Clark 1992). Recent claims of a possible Neanderthal/Homo sapiens sapiens hybrid dating to the latter part of the Early Upper Paleolithic (Duarte et al. 1999, Trinkaus, Zilhao, and ˜ Duarte 1999) also suggest that the simplistic equation of “cultures” with hominid types, a correlate of traditional interpretive frameworks of Paleolithic research, is seriously flawed and probably counterproductive for an understanding of the transition. Recognition of distinct Early and Late Upper Paleolithic periods has not been unanimously accepted. Some scholars have insisted that the Upper Paleolithic is a coherent temporal and cultural unit (see White 1989b and various papers in Knecht, Pike-Tay, and White 1993). This period, they claim, was associated exclusively with modern humans and a very few acculturated Neanderthals and was defined by an unmistakable “symbolic explosion” that included as a single package art, symbolism (including burials), bone and antler technology, complex social structures, and perhaps even language (Noble and Davidson 1991, 1993, 1996). This point of view, which ignores much of the evidence for Middle Paleolithic symbolism (e.g., Marshack 1989), agrees well with Gargett’s perception of the differences between the Middle and the Upper Paleolithic. Indeed, his view effectively “dehumanizes” Neanderthals and implies that they were, for all intents and purposes, evolutionary dead ends. Both positions, however, appear to accept that cultural diversity intensified in the course of the Upper Paleolithic. This being the case, we can assume that the earliest phases of that chronotypologically defined period would be characterized by simpler forms of the same behavior found in its later phases. Thus, if we are to take some fraction of the Upper Paleolithic as a basis for potential behavioral comparisons with the Middle Paleolithic, it appears sensible to take the allegedly behaviorally “incipient” portion of that period as that baseline. The first three Upper Paleolithic “technocomplexes” (Chatelperronian, Aurignacian, and Gravettian) will be ˆ the ones characterized by the earliest and presumably simplest manifestations of symbolic behavior, including purposeful burial. If Gargett is right and intentional interment begins only with the earliest Upper Paleolithic, the patterns derived from this limited sample should show no qualitative similarities whatsoever to those derived from a sample of alleged graves from the Middle Paleolithic. By trying to discern how burial practices in the Early Upper Paleolithic differed from or resembled those sug-

gested for the Middle Paleolithic, this paper will also test the validity of the Upper Paleolithic as an analytical unit, since it will show whether an unambiguous Middle/Upper Paleolithic division exists in a body of evidence other than stone tools. By extension, the validity of typological and etic approaches to the dynamic cultural and biological processes of the Paleolithic will also be assessed.

Burials and Modern Human Origins
Almost everyone involved in modern-human-origins research accepts that humans had started to bury their dead by the earliest phases of the Upper Paleolithic. The issue before us, then, is whether purposeful burial also existed in the Middle Paleolithic. One group of researchers, spearheaded by Gargett (1989, 1996, 1999), argues that geological or nonhuman natural processes alone can account for all apparent Middle Paleolithic hominid burials recovered so far. This implies that they view Upper Paleolithic graves in general as radically different from all the material claimed in support of intentional burial in the Middle Paleolithic. A major difficulty with this point of view is the unlikelihood that the geological processes at work in Middle Paleolithic sites would not also have affected those of the Upper Paleolithic. The presence of proportionally greater numbers of Upper Paleolithic graves should be perfectly explicable by such processes. Indeed, besides the fact that Early Upper Paleolithic sites were more numerous and widespread than Middle Paleolithic ones (White 1985:57), bodies buried 100,000 years ago are much less likely to have been preserved to the present than those buried a “mere” 25,000 years ago. This perspective suggests that modern humans, who were, after all, present for most of the Middle Paleolithic, eventually crossed some kind of cognitive threshold beyond the reach of the “symbolically challenged” Neanderthals, who were destined to be replaced. It is not surprising, therefore, to see proponents of this interpretation invoking the extreme replacement scenario of Stringer (Stringer, Hublin, and Vandermeersch 1984, Stringer and Andrews 1988; but cf. Clark and Willermet 1995) and Mellars (1989, 1996; but cf. Clark and Lindly 1989a, Clark 1997b). Another group of researchers accepts the existence of Middle Paleolithic graves but sees them as different from those of the Upper Paleolithic. Chase and Dibble (1987; Chase 1991) argue that Middle Paleolithic burial is evidence of a level of caring and emotional attachment well above that of any other higher primates but that “there are no other obvious signs of ritual” (Chase and Dibble 1987:276). In other words, Middle Paleolithic hominids were gregarious, emotional, socially complex, and adept at hunting but had no ritual or symbolic behavior to organize their sociality. (Exactly how emotion is detached from “humanness” is never made clear.) This position has the notable advantage of being able to account for the very limited number of apparent graves recovered from Middle Paleolithic contexts, since it implies that

polytypic species (Brose and Wolpoff 1971.000 years b.. who were driven to extinction. it is quite unwarranted to link burials with specific hominid taxa. Despite a lack of concrete evidence. settlement and subsistence patterns. however. and Thorne 1984. Mellars 1996). It happens that many of the earliest recovered hominids from the Upper Paleolithic 2. Hublin. Wolpoff. resulting in a conceptual impasse in which players from multiregional and replacement camps cite the same evidence but interpret it differently. This suggests that. 1999a). and their mortuary practices may not always have left traces in the archaeological record (e. however. the Middle Paleolithic archaeological record provides evidence of a fair degree of social complexity that increased at a different rate from that of biological evolution (Marshack 1989. . and Vandermeersch 1984). C’est le ´ principe meme de l’evolution. Wu. Trinkaus. provides support for the hypothesis that the two hominid groups were simply regional variants within a single. As is pointed out by Harrold (1980:196). at least some of the patterns in the Middle and Early Upper Paleolithic record could represent or index the social personae recognized by the societies in which purposefully interred individuals once participated.” ˆ ´ have. Paleolithic burials are much fewer and much more widely distributed in space and time than those of any . Some researchers argue that despite their ability to act symbolically. May (1986: 157. that the “embryonic” ritual behavior embodied in burials postdating 100. wide-ranging. 1998. Willermet and Clark 1995. Le Mort 1988). Zilhao. Zilhao and ˜ d’Errico 1999a. they can serve as important sources of information about the origins of what is seen as typically modern behavior. thereby providing the test implications for Early Upper Paleolithic burial that the other approaches have studiously avoided. developing further what it contained in germinal form. 1989). This observation can be interpreted as suggesting that modern humans and Neanderthals were the same species and shared a behavioral repertoire—a view that is supported by lithic (Boeda 1988) and faunal (Chase 1989) evidence ¨ strongly suggesting that the two hominids had similar lifeways for an interval of at least 60. tool technologies. like stone tools. however. regularities or patterns must be identified in grave contexts. however. Following Binford (1971). Others in this group see both kinds of Middle Paleolithic hominids as having the capacity for symbolic behavior.s a l v a t o r e a n d c l a r k Grave Markers F 451 burial was not a regular part of the Neanderthal behavioral repertoire and was. developpe ce qu’il contenait en germe. It is handicapped. while burials can certainly be used as a source of evidence in inferring past lifeways. In their view. It is very unlikely that interment was the only way our Paleolithic forebears had of disposing of the dead (Ucko 1969). We take the position that burials are crucial for understanding both the biological and the cultural transition and that. In fact.p. translation ours)2 sums up this position when she states that “the Upper Paleolithic is in continuity with the Middle Paleolithic. in fact. by evidence that Middle Paleolithic modern humans also sporadically buried their dead for no symbolic reason. The problem is that it is impossible to compare them with Neanderthals as a whole because. It is interesting.g. despite claims to the contrary (see Stringer. that the robust modern humans present in the earliest Upper Paleolithic (see descriptions of Combe Capelle. Clark and Lindly 1989a.g. 1999. The alternative interpretation preferred by Chase and Dibble (1987:285) is that Neanderthals and modern humans were two distinct species and that only modern humans would eventually develop the capacity for symbolic behavior. we do not have a list of traits that unambiguously characterizes Upper Pleistocene hominids as Neanderthal or modern (Willermet 1993. Neanderthals apparently never “refined” this capacity to the same degree as modern humans and were therefore condemned to be replaced by them (Defleur 1993. This renders the classification of limitrophe specimens difficult if not impossible. the multiregional hypothesis predicts that extremely robust modern humans showing some Neanderthal features will be the earliest buried hominids of the Upper Paleolithic. therefore. if we are ever to resolve the issues surrounding our origins they cannot be studied in isolation from other lines of evidence (e. however. Therefore. . Wolpoff 1989). likely to have been sporadic.” This position has the advantage of being able to indicate some of the elements that should or could be found in Early Upper Paleolithic burials. The recently discovered Lagar Velho Neanderthal/modern “hybrid” (Duarte et al. most of the proponents of the nonsymbolic-burial interpretation adhere to this view.. .000 years (Lindly and Clark 1990). if we can control for taphonomy and diagenesis. this approach is based on cross-cultural observations derived from fully modern populations that typically use formal cemeteries to dispose of their dead. . Hayden 1993). 1999: 761–69). Les Cottes. been described as very robust and showing Neanderthal affinities (see Wolfpoff 1997:746–58. and Duarte 1999) is another “aberration” ˜ that can be explained more adequately from a continuity than from a replacement perspective (but see Brauer ¨ 1984. etc. and Predmostı in May 1986) ´ ˇ ´ are precisely what is expected by continuity advocates and can be accommodated only with difficulty by the replacement model. A broadly similar expression of this view based on the analysis of stone and bone tools and personal ornaments has recently been proposed by some European workers (d’Errico et al. see Clark 1997a. It is the very principle of evolution. . or “neoculture.).r i e l . Others argue. .” giving them a competitive advantage over “paleocultural” Neanderthals. Some Comments on Burial Analysis In analyzing mortuary data. Clark 1997a). but what this means is debated. As with stone tools. “Le Paleolithique superieur est en continuite avec le Paleoli´ ´ ´ ´ thique moyen. patterns in the mortuary record can be assumed to reflect some of the various social personae (statuses occupied or activated in life) of the deceased (see also Clark and Neeley 1987).

Bar-Yosef and Kuhn 1999]). with the result that anthropologically derived principles are probably not applicable to the period under scrutiny. Smirnov 1989. Defleur 1993) do in fact start their analyses of Middle Paleolithic burials with the presumption that an articulated skeleton represents intentional burial (but see Vandermeersch 1993 for an alternative approach). . Many researchers (May 1986. Dibble and Rolland 1992. Heim 1976. Svoboda and Vlcek 1991).. 41–42). b. populations of the same species). This criticism is a valid one. however. Kimbel.p. Kimbel. Additional data from recently discovered Middle Paleolithic burials were gathered from articles or excavation reports and included in the sample (Bar-Yosef et al. 1995] and Amud 7 [Hovers et al. however. Technically. one must be extremely careful in interpreting them and wary of generalizing them to archaeologically defined analytical units. Campbell. including syntheses (Oakley. if they do not carry a symbolic loading. Vermeersch et al.e. dates never contradicted the attribution of a grave to the Middle Paleolithic based on assemblage signature. 1995. only those considered to have been purposefully buried are examined here. As concerns the identification of burial inclusions as “grave goods” in Middle Paleolithic contexts. 1982) to increase the accuracy of our interpretations. more likely.3 it was also included in the Middle Paleolithic sample. that an articulated skeleton by itself is never sufficient evidence of a burial. characterized by the development of Upper Paleolithic tool types. Rak. Therefore. where bladebased tools appear to be the norm for that period [see e. and the presence of grave goods—objects unambiguously associated with the remains and therefore assumed to have been intentionally placed in a grave (Defleur 1993:57–58). Although many sites there have yielded human remains.” “probable. First and foremost. August–October 2001 anthropological culture. 1999:31–33. Although is it true that skeletons are rarely so preserved (1989:157–58). One of Gargett’s major criticisms of research on Middle Paleolithic burials is that the mere presence of an articulated skeleton in an archaeological context is often taken as evidence for purposeful burial (1989:160–61. the presence of a pit or some other type of burial structure.. A common solution is to look for other elements that may indicate purposeful interment. A big problem here is that the various dates available were obtained by different methods applied to different materials across the sites (for a very detailed discussion of dating methods applied to the Paleolithic period. All agree.000 b. it was assumed to date to the Middle Paleolithic. and Smirnov (1989:216) proposes that the presence of associated features be taken into account. see Zilhao and d’Errico ˜ 1999a). Svoboda 1989. When one or more of these elements co-occurs with an articulated skeleton.” or “possible” (Defleur 1993) and omitted the “possible” burials from our sample. Dederiyeh 1 [Akazawa et al. Number 4.) In the rare instances when dates were available. The date of 40. they should not show any patterns similar to those derived from Early Upper Paleolithic burials (Gargett 1999: 30). which are by definition fairly static and of very long duration and therefore quite different from cultures in the purely anthropological sense of the term (Clark 1997a). 1995. 1987. May (1986:4) also suggests that attention be paid to the total area in which the remains are found. 1998). This definition roughly parallels the traditional typology-based one and makes identification of Middle Paleolithic archaeological strata possible even in a survey that must depend on secondhand sources. We may also be dealing with two different species (or.452 F c u r r e n t a n t h ro p o l o g y Volume 42. since. the number of supposed Middle Paleolithic burials included in this study should be of no importance. we classified the apparent Middle Paleolithic burials as “certain. while patterns may be visible in the mortuary record of the later phases of the Paleolithic. Selection of Data The geographical area under scrutiny consists of most of Western Eurasia and Western Russia. it seems likely that we are dealing with a purposeful inhumation. nonhuman processes can and sometimes do result in the preservation of articulated skeletal parts. If a proposed burial associated with an assemblage of Middle Paleolithic signature was recorded. is not typically associated with the end of the Middle Paleolithic but is used here because it excludes even the earliest recorded manifestation of the so-called Middle–Upper Paleolithic transition. When possible. and Rak 2000. May 1986. this means that the dates cannot be directly compared with each other. if the burial was dated to over 40. given that typological approaches have repeatedly been shown to be seriously flawed (Dibble 1984. 1995. Rak.g. Palma di Cesnola 1993) and detailed journal articles (Klima 1987a.000 b.p. we refer the reader to Defleur’s (1993) thorough and competent discussion of the matter and to the original sources in which they were reported as such in recently discovered burials (i. The Early Upper Paleolithic burials considered here were compiled from a variety of sources. and Hovers 1994. Hovers. These include a skeleton’s position. that is. and Hovers 1994]). Nevertheless. significant problems in identifying 3. Hovers et al. we looked instead for a Middle Paleolithic or Mousterian technological “signature”—the dominance of flake-based retouched tools in lithic assemblages (except in the Levant. ˇ There were. Akazawa et al. 1992. (The use of this concept of signature is proposed simply as a tool for classifying burials for the purposes of this study. A number of criteria were used to determine if a burial belonged to the Middle Paleolithic. the whole area in which typologically defined Middle and Upper Paleolithic tool assemblages have been identified. Tillier 1995. Solecki 1971. and Molleson 1971. Bisson 2000). This is an area of several million square kilometers. Since there are no temporally distinct Middle Paleolithic tool traditions (but see Mellars 1996). Kimbel.g. reference was also made to the original publications for the older sites reviewed by Defleur (e.. Effectively.

) rather than according to the eight cardinal directions of Western geography. juveniles comprise the largest part of the sample. will eventually result in a more adequate radiometric chronology. In sum. we considered it risky to do so. Furthermore. The relevant information is tabulated in tables 1 and 2. orientation relative to a specific spatial referent is rarely evident. that renewed interest in this material. Data Analysis middle paleolithic burials Analysis of the Middle Paleolithic sample (table 3) allows the following general observations.p. First. Harrold 1980.000 years b.000 years b. Most recovered juveniles appear to be under 10 years of age. the Aurignacian. Those bodies for which information was available show that roughly equal numbers rested on their backs or right sides and proportionally fewer of them on their left. 1954. This often makes it difficult to understand precisely what researchers mean in temporal terms when they use similar chronotypological designations in different areas. the “cultural sequence” is not necessarily the same in the various parts of the area under scrutiny. but we are using the brackets proposed by Defleur not to reconstruct a life table but to compare patterns between Middle and Early Upper Paleolithic groups. most of it excavated in the late 19th or early 20th century. and therefore fall outside of our time range. This use should not mask much of the variability in the mortuary record. since in many ethnographic cultures body position is a significant part of the mortuary program (Carr 1995). body position. Most of the skeletons were found in a contracted or tightly flexed position. while Palma di Cesnola (1993:406–10) assigns all the Barma Grande graves to the earliest part of the Upper Paleolithic. or (more rarely) the Gravettian.p.r i e l . the Gravettian in Moravia is called the Pavlovian. and Coinman 1996 for a lithic-based example). Beyond that. Most paleodemographic studies rely on five-year age-brackets. Two of these sites (Qafzeh and Skhul) are among the oldest in our sample. etc. since most Early Upper Paleolithic sites have been classified chronotypologically but never dated. If nothing else. the placement and resting plane of the recovered individuals were not reported by the excavators. Finally. defined as a unique and distinctive Moravian variation on the Gravettian theme (Svoboda 1994). this fundamental problem should cast serious doubt on the unilineal cultural evolution implied in the Upper Paleolithic typology devised by de Sonneville-Bordes and Perrot (1953. Two out of seven identified females (disproportionately high for this period) exhibited pathology. 1956). since we do not know the relative cultural value of various types of grave goods or whether the absence of grave goods could be mitigated by more elaborate ritual ceremonies that left no archaeological traces. the hominid “type” of recovered skeletons was also recorded on the chance that species. However. This is unfortunate. these denominations are not valid over the whole geographical area under investigation. yielded a single rather plain grave and dates to between roughly 80. recent 14C dates (Bisson. determinant of who was buried in the Middle Paleolithic. while most males belong to the 16–30 and 41–50 age brackets. while the ¯ third. and grave goods. all of which are fairly standard in the study of Paleolithic burials4 (Binford 1968. trees. This lack of a unified terminology points to the need for revision of the conceptual frameworks used for dealing with Upper Paleolithic “industries” (see Barton. most of the material in the Early Upper Paleolithic sample was either supported by absolute dates or assigned to the Chatelperronian. The compilation of the data resulted in a sample of 45 alleged Middle Paleolithic and 32 alleged Early Upper Paleolithic burials (excluding the 18 individuals from the Predmostı mass grave. That the three sites that yielded modern human burials produced roughly 30% of the burials might be interpreted as evidence that modern humans showed a higher propensity to bury their dead. for which secure information is ˇ ´ lacking). 40. and White 1996) show that they really postdate 20. Defleur 1993). although the “cultures” included in the time interval chosen. This is a major problem.. Another problem was the significant discrepancies between typological designations and absolute dates. For example. This period has the only evidence for “kneeling” and “seated” positions. Olszewski. The variables selected for study include sex. and the ˆ Gravettian. grave features. In most cases. It might have been interesting here to generate and use a “diversity index” like that employed by Harrold (1980: 200) in his comparative study of Paleolithic burials.000 years b. (Vermeersch et al. For example.000 and 50. the ˆ Aurignacian.5 Females are underrepresented.or population-specific mortuary practices might be identified. Following the same dubious line of reasoning. The only sites where bodies were consistently oriented along a particular axis are La Ferrassie and Qafzeh. . It can be hoped.000–20. The vast majority of inhumed individuals were Neanderthals. are only the Chatelperronian. Very few sites are securely dated. In addition. Smirnov 1989. but this would be a risky assertion. Most of these criteria are far from unambiguously identified. since burials may have been oriented according to nearby features of the landscape that have long since disappeared (rivers. however. 1955.p. but most burials for which information is available were oriented one way or another along an east-west axis. Tisnerat. evidence of pathology on the recovered skeletons was also noted. Data on grave orientation are also scarce.s a l v a t o r e a n d c l a r k Grave Markers F 453 the sites to be included in the sample. following Defleur’s (1993:225) suggestion that it may have been a significant 4. Besides those characteristics of skeletons which can often be misinterpreted in incomplete individuals (age and sex). the question of burial orientation is also difficult. 1998). and the sites 5. grave orientation. and. Taramsa. age. Roughly one in five Middle Paleolithic burials contained an individual who showed signs of pathology. one could conclude that modern human behavior actually became simpler rather than more complex over time.

bone shards. lithics?. bone shards. three nearby pits Lithics Lithics. double grave – – Ochre?. Adult 10 mos. rocks – Lithics. rock over grave – Spheroid. bear bones. August–October 2001 table 1 Middle Paleolithic Mortuary Data Sexa M M J M F J J J J J J F ? J Age– Class 41–50 16–30? 2–10 41–50 16–30 2–10 Foetus 0–1 Foetus 2–10 2–10 16–30 31–40 3 2–10 Pathologyb N N N N N N N N N N N Y N N Physical Body Typec Positiond Ne Ne Ne Ne Ne Ne Ne Ne Ne Ne Ne Ne Ne Ne D/C R/F? ? D/F R/C ? ? ? ? ? ? R/? L/C L/F? Orientatione W–E ? ? W–E E–W ? ? ? ? E–W ? ? W–E N–S Featuresf P – P P P P P P P/M P – – P/M/H P Burial La Chapelle-auxSaints Le Moustier 1 Le Moustier 2 La Ferrassie 1 La Ferrassie 2 La Ferrassie 3 La Ferrassie 4a∗ La Ferrassie 4b∗ La Ferrassie 5 La Ferrassie 6 La Ferrassie 8 La Quina Le Regourdou ´ Le Roc-de-Marsal Status Certain Probable Probable Certain Certain Certain Certain Certain Certain Certain Probable Certain Certain Certain Age 50 Young adult Child 40–45 25–30 10 Foetus 1 mo. bone shard “pillow. rock over grave.454 F c u r r e n t a n t h ro p o l o g y Volume 42. bone shards) Bone shards. rock over grave Lithics. rocks over skeleton – Sediment covering? Lithics? – Flowers. stones over skeleton. Number 4. nearby pits (lithics. sediment covering? – – – – Lithics? Boar mandible – – – – Lithics?. 7 mos. nearby pits (lithics. bone shards) Bone shard lithic “pillow” Lithics?. nearby pits (lithics.” antlers. rock over skeleton Sandstones. triangular flint flake over heart – Spy 1 Spy 2 Tabun ¯ Skhul 1 ¯ Skhul 4 ¯ Skhul 5 ¯ Skhul 6 ¯ Skhul 7 ¯ Skhul 9 ¯ Qafzeh 3 Qafzeh 8 Qafzeh 9∗ Qafzeh 10 Qafzeh 11 ∗ Certain Probable Certain Certain Certain Certain Probable Certain Probable Certain Certain Certain Certain Certain Probable Certain Probable Certain Certain Certain Certain Certain Certain Probable Certain Certain M F F J M M M F M F M F J J J M M M M M J M J J M J ? ? 30 Child 40–50 30–40 ? 35 ? ? Adult Young adult 6 13–14 8–10 30–40 20–30 40 30–40 40 9 mos. sediment covering? Lithics. sediment covering? Large mammal bones? – – Red deer maxilla on pelvis – – Limestone slab over head. Adult 1–3 31–40 16–30 16–30 2–10 41–50 31–40 31–40 31–40 41–50 41–50 31–40 16–30 2–10 11–15 2–10 31–40 16–30 41–50 31–40 41–50 0–1 16–30 0–1 0–1 16–30 2–10 N N N Y N N N N Y N N Y N N N Y N Y N Y N N N N N N Ne Ne Ne AMH AMH AMH AMH AMH AMH AMH AMH AMH AMH AMH AMH Ne Ne Ne Ne Ne Ne Ne Ne Ne Ne Ne ? ? D/F K R/C D/C ? R/C ? L/E? R/F L/F L/C D/C ? D/? ? R/? L/C ?/C R/C R/C R/E ? D/? D/E E–W ? W–E ? SE–NW W–E ? ? ? ? E–W N–S E–W N–S ? W–E ? E–W SE–NW ? N–S N–S NW–SE ? E–W S–N – – P P P P – – – – P P P P P P/M M/H P/M P/M M/H H – P – P/H P Qafzeh 15 Shanidar 1 Shanidar 2 Shanidar 3 Shanidar 4 Shanidar 5 Shanidar 7 Amud 1 Amud 7 Kebara 1 Kebara 2 Dederiyeh 1 Taramsa 1 Certain J 8–10 2–10 N AMH S/C E–W P/M . ochre. Foetus 3 2 ? ? Grave Goods Bones. bone shards) Lithics. trophies.

and sediments of distinctive color or texture were all also found in graves (Defleur 1993:257). Kimbel. Grave orientation does not appear to be patterned in any remarkable way. disease. male. early upper paleolithic burials For the Early Upper Paleolithic. but animal bones. oddly shaped rocks. These observations would tend to support the notion of a widespread mortuary program. This may be true. southeast. Slightly more than three-quarters of the burials had associated features (pits. stone casings). 1995. S. V. east. pit (visible or deduced). northwest. Most were associated with pits. although some tightly flexed (contracted) and semiflexed burials account for a fair share of the reported graves. N. In the absence of clear criteria for distinguishing Neanderthals from modern humans. f P. Most of these appear to have been stone tools (although no use-wear studies appear to have been conducted to see whether they were used prior to being buried). only one Neanderthal (Saint-Cesaire 1) and a ´ supposed Neanderthal/modern hybrid (Lagar Velho 1) were recovered. Only two graves contained ochre. A little more than half the burials contained grave goods. Pathology is rare and distributed evenly between adult males and females. ¯ show a lack of standardization in grave orientation. and when present this material was found only in pebble form. present (injury. most do not appear to have been “exceptional” items. this period is the only one to show evidence of skeletons buried face down (two cases). The problem. lying on right side. “seated. anatomically modern human. M. This may be significant. Subtlety is demanded in assessing whether items recovered with graves represent intentional inclusions. C. This implies that at least some effort and energy was expended in disposing of most Middle Paleolithic bodies in graves. If one thing characterizes putative Middle Paleolithic grave goods. SE. “kneeling”. but the fact that some bodies were found with unambiguous grave goods—despite Gargett’s claims to the contrary— suggests that the practice was present (see Hovers et al. in complementary ways. it appears that males were buried more often than both females and juveniles. Most graves had a single associated feature. if anything. it is that they are not extremely variable in nature and that. of course. Neanderthal. juvenile (impossible to determine sex). b Y. a M. Vandermeersch (1976) is of the opinion that many of the so-called grave goods could have become associated with the skeletons as a result of the filling of the pits. J. L. although Dolnı Vestonice XV (the ´ ˇ “female” of the triple burial) exhibits pathology (Klima 1987a. Skhul and Shanidar. mound. Adults appear to have accounted for at least three-quarters of the burials. H. Interesting insights regarding the biological processes at work during the Early Upper Paleolithic might well be derived from isolating such a group and analyzing it along with Lagar Velho 1. as is the case for Sungir 3 and 4. dorsal. lying on left side. The overwhelming majority of burials were modern humans. hearths. d D. Mounds and hearths were also reported with some burials but were rare. b). although the high frequency of burials with unknown body positions precludes any statistical assessment. Hovers. Only bodies found in multiple burials were found oriented either in the same way or. . F. and Rak 2000). Interestingly.” e W. ventral.s a l v a t o r e a n d c l a r k Grave Markers F 455 table 1 (Continued) Burial Kiik-Koba 12 Kiik-Koba 2 Teshik-Tash Staroselje Status Probable Probable Certain Probable Sexa M J J J Age Adult 1 8–10 2 Age– Class 31–40 0–1 2–10 2–10 Pathologyb N N N Y Physical Body Typec Positiond Ne Ne Ne Ne ? ? ? D/E Orientatione ? ? ? W–E Featuresf P P P P Grave Goods – – Circle of goat horns – ∗Multiple burial. S. E. AMH. absent. female. NW. but females were half as numerous as males. K. F. north. since one would assume that a coherent mortuary program represented by multiple successive inhumations would consistently orient bodies in the same or similar directions. except perhaps for the associated animal bones. as it has been shown that the criteria used by researchers may often be too strict when it comes to Middle Paleolithic burials (Belfer-Cohen and Hovers 1992). This suggests that pathology may not have been a significant consideration in the selection of individuals for burial. R. contracted.r i e l . hearth. malformation). flexed. south. which contained the most burials. is that we have no way of knowing what. Striae show that these pebbles had been rubbed repeatedly across relatively hard surfaces prior to their inclusion in the graves. The preferred body position appears to have been a dorsal and fully extended one. Burial seems to have been reserved mostly for individuals in age-brackets 16–30 and 31–40. it was impossible to determine whether “extremely robust” individuals represented a significant part of the sample. c Ne. was symbolized by the inclusion of these items. extended (based on headfeet axis). mounds. E. west. N.

necklace. headdress. ochre cover. H Pavlov I Certain M 40–50 41–50 N AMH ?/C ? P . bracelet. “kneecap. 2 serpentine pebbles on forehead Headdress. headdress. belt? Incised mammoth shoulder blade as cover Balzo della Torre II Certain M Adult 16–30 N AMH D/E NW–SE H Balzo della Torre III Grotta del Caviglione I Certain Certain J M 15 Adult 11–15 16–30 N N AMH AMH V/E L/F NW–SE N–S – S. “diadem” – Ochred pebble. mammoth ivory stake through pelvis. chest and pelvis. H Grotta dei Fanciulli I∗ Grotta dei Fanciulli II∗ Paglicci II Certain Certain M F Young 16–30 adult/17 Older 31–40 adult/40 Teen/13 11–15 N N AMH AMH R/C R/C ? ? P. August–October 2001 table 2 Early Upper Paleolithic Mortuary Data Sexa M Age– Class 16–30 Pathologyb N Physical Body OrienTypec Positiond tatione Featuresf AMH D/E NW–SE – Burial Balzo della Torre I Status Certain Age 25–30 Grave Goods Headdress.” ochre cover. ochre-filled “canal.456 F c u r r e n t a n t h ro p o l o g y Volume 42. “diadem. 10 fox canines Ochre on head. 2 blades. 4 pierced canines. armband. bracelet Ochre. 2 incised mammoth shoulder blades as cover. S P Certain M N AMH D/E SW–NE S Paglicci III Certain F 18–20 16–30 N AMH D/E S–N P Veneri Parabitta I∗ Veneri Parabitta II∗ Agnano Dolnı Vestonice III ´ ˇ Certain Certain Certain Certain M F F F 125 125 16–30? 16–30? 16–30 30–40 N N N N AMH AMH AMH AMH F/L D/E ?/C R/F ? ? ? ? P P – P 20 38–42 Dolnı Vestonice XIII∗ ´ ˇ Certain M 17–23 16–30 N AMH D/E S–N P Dolnı Vestonice XIV∗ ´ ˇ Dolnı Vestonice XV∗ ´ ˇ Certain Certain M F? 17–23 17–23 16–30 16–30 N Y AMH AMH V/E D/E S–N S–N P P Dolnı Vestonice XVI ´ ˇ Certain M 40–50 41–50 Y AMH R/F E–W P. blade. ochre cover (thick on head). ochre over head Ochre.” flat unifacial blade. “kneecap. 2 scrapers. “headdress” Ochred bracelets. necklace. ochred flint pebble – Headdress.” animal hide? Ochre cover (thick on skull). armband. bone point. Number 4. ochred split bear canine. “diadem” Ochre on head and between thighs.” piece of deer or horse rib in mouth Ochre on head. bracelet. “anklet”. animal hide? Necklace. “diadem.” mammoth ivory pendant Ochre on head. chunks of ochred stone over grave. lithics. ochre cover (thick on head) and bed. many “good” lithics Two diverse fill types.

K. F. lying on left side. S. E. d D. R. mound.a. If this were done here. No mounds were reported for any burial of this period. N. the vast majority of Early Upper Paleolithic burials appear to have contained grave goods of some kind. Neanderthal. NW. rings Pierced shells. 2 bone ornaments on chest. E. 2 “batons de ˆ commandement” Ochre bed. AMH AMH R/C ? D/E n.a. disc near right temple. beaded clothes. N. southeast. AMH. N N AMH AMH AMH n.r i e l . juvenile (impossible to determine sex). beaded clothes. Finally. the proportion of Early Upper Paleolithic graves unambiguously associated with grave goods would fall to three-quarters. pins.a. anatomically modern human. pins. “suit” Ochre bed. northwest. west.a. extended (based on headfeet axis). D/E D/E ? ? ? n. wrap. necklace. The association of this material with any of the Cro-Magnon skeletons is far from unambiguous. bone/ivory discs and rings. disease. b Y. F. bracelets. Campbell. A few exhibited hearths or stone casings over their heads and/or feet. It is based on figures that include the four Cro-Magnon burials claimed by May (1986:37–38) to be associated with over 300 shells and a single pendant. long mammoth task spear. headdress. flexed. V. medium mammoth tusk spear. . NE–SW SW–NE – – – P P P Probable ? Certain n. “seated. present (injury. H Probable M? Probable M Probable M Probable F Probable M Probable I Certain J ∗Multiple burial. single pierced shell Brno III Predmostı 22 ˇ ´ Predmostı 27 ˇ ´ Predmostı 1–18 ˇ ´ Sungir 2 Sungir 3∗ Probable Probable F J 31–40 2–10 ? n. Harrold 1980:205). malformation). bracelets. L. contracted. various bone/stone tools Ochre Hare teeth on forehead Traces of defleshing Multiple grave (different times) Headdress. south. 55–65 7–9 Age– Class 31–40 Pathologyb N Physical Body OrienTypec Positiond tatione Featuresf AMH ? ? P Grave Goods Ochre.s a l v a t o r e a n d c l a r k Grave Markers F 457 table 2 (Continued) Burial Brno II Status Probable Sexa M Age Middleaged Middleaged 9–10 Adult n. “kneeling”.” e W. female. east. 2 knives. 8 javelins. This pattern may be more apparent than real. ventral. male. necklace. lithics. and Molleson 1971:104–5. north. Certain Certain M J Sungir 4∗ Certain J 12–13 11–15 N AMH D/E NE–SW P Combe Capelle Les Cottes ´ Saint-Cesaire ´ Cro-Magnon 1∗ Cro-Magnon 2∗ Cro-Magnon 3∗ Cro-Magnon 5∗ Lagar Velho 1 Certain ? Adult 50–60 Adult 50 20–30 30–40 1 mo. a M.a. H. disc near right temple. absent.a. Only a handful of burials had as many as two associated features. M.a. tooth on right wrist – – Shells? Pendant? Shells? Shells? Shells? Ochre. A significant number of graves were found with no associated features. although most showed traces of a pit. 50 2–10 N N N n. dorsal. hearth. headdress. 3 ? 50 – 50 16–30 31–40 0–1 2–10 N Y N N Y N N N AMH AMH Ne AMH AMH AMH AMH Hybrid D/E ? SB? ? ? ? ? D/E N–S ? ? ? ? ? ? E–W P – – – – – – P. C. and some writers discount it altogether (Oakley. SE. rings. lying on right side. S. armbands. bracelets. f P. J. c Ne. stones and red deer bones lining. 3 javelins. 1 knife. pit (visible or deduced).

Defleur 1993).p. Similarly. Trinkaus. While concentrations of Middle Paleolithic graves have been found in the French Perigord as well as in northern ´ Israel. Grotta del Caviglione. Both samples have many more males than females. In fact. Doing so would also imply acceptance of the reified interpretation of the Middle and Upper Paleolithic derived from typological systematics that portray them as distinct by definition (Bordes 1961. Grotta dei Fanciulli) or near Pavlov Hill in Moravia (Dolnı Vesto´ ˇ nice. We can. This suggests that they represent random accumulations of burials over long periods of time and that they were not used as formal cemeteries by specific hominid groups with different customs in the Middle Paleolithic. most of the observable “within-cluster” similarities are derived from multiple burials. 1956). Sonneville-Bordes and Perrot 1954. are unquestionable Early Upper Paleolithic. however. these graves are not contemporaneous within the limits of dating techniques and do not exhibit standard- ized sets of mortuary practices. (Duarte et al. Brno. ´ ˆ 1981)—that “cultures” as defined by typological systematics cannot be equated with specific hominid “types” (Clark. it is interesting that a Neanderthal and a “hybrid” are present in contexts that. Zilhao. although most graves were found clustered in the Grimaldi Caves in Italy (Balzo della Torre. cited in Norris 1999:46). Predmostı). to be much more frequent in the Early Upper Paleolithic than in the Middle Paleolithic. Indeed. perhaps because increased population density made multiple simultaneous deaths a more frequent occurrence. Therefore it is hazardous to try to interpret this patterning. especially across time. but it would be dangerous to accept either of these interpretations given the extremely small and almost certainly nonrepresentative sample available. 1955. the case for such clustering is shaky.500 b. Multiple burials do appear. for the Early Upper Paleolithic. but the habit . say something about the prevalence of particular hominid taxa in the two periods. The large number of buried juveniles in the Middle Paleolithic may reflect an emphasis on the value of young individuals or a higher juvenile death rate. 1999. Lagar Velho 1 is especially interesting in this regard. Purposefully buried individuals do not constitute an adequate basis for reconstructing the population of which they were part. except for the probably insignificant recurrence of grave orientation. Typological interpretations are based on retouched stone tools.458 F c u r r e n t a n t h ro p o l o g y Volume 42. Number 4. defined typologically and chronometrically. Nothing reliable can be said of the position of the bodies or of grave orientation because for many graves from both periods these data are unrecorded. these clusters do not appear to be internally consistent in the distribution of the variables analyzed in this study. Pavlov. the burial practices reˇ ´ flected in individual graves in these “clusters” are quite variable. In fact. the presence of this “hybrid” in a Gravettian or proto-Solutrean context dated to roughly 24. but the proportion of juveniles is much higher in the Middle Paleolithic than in the Early Upper Paleolithic. August–October 2001 table 3 Characteristics of Middle (N p 45) and Early Upper (N p 32) Paleolithic Burials Compared Characteristic Sex Male Female Juvenile Unknown Age 0–1 2–10 11–15 16–30 31–40 41–50 50 Unknown Pathology Present Absent Physical type Neanderthal Modern “Hybrid” Placement Extended Flexed Contracted Unknown Resting plane Dorsal Ventral Left Right Seated Kneeling Unknown Grave orientation N NE E SE S SW W NW Unknown Grave features Pit Hearth Mound Stone casing Number of features 0 1 2 3 Grave goods Present Absent Middle Upper 17 7 20 1 7 12 1 9 9 7 0 0 8 37 32 13 0 4 6 14 21 9 0 6 10 1 1 18 4 0 6 2 1 0 7 1 21 31 5 8 0 11 26 8 1 23 22 16 8 6 2 1 3 3 12 5 2 3 3 4 28 1 30 1 13 4 6 9 12 2 2 5 0 0 11 3 2 2 0 4 2 0 3 16 17 4 0 3 12 16 4 0 28 4 The Middle and Early Upper Paleolithic Compared Despite claims that both periods display definite regional burial groups with fundamental similarities (Binford 1968. however. and Duarte 1999) ˜ underscores the realization that first emerged with the discovery of the Saint-Cesaire Neanderthal in a Chatel´ ˆ perronian context (Leveque and Vandermeersch 1980. since it is likely that certain individuals were accorded preferential treatment as a result of status and prestige derived from other aspects of their social personae (Ubelaker 1978).

” What should in fact be measured. impossible to know the precise meanings these grave goods had for the extinct societies of which they were once part. Mounds were. For example.p. recent work by Stiner in Italy and Israel has shown that small game and shellfish were increasingly incorporated into Upper Paleolithic diets but were virtually absent in some areas during the Middle Paleolithic (Stiner 1994. none of the Middle Paleolithic modern human burials was associated with more than a pit. Therefore its presence in graves may simply indicate knowledge of a useful substance that was gradually invested with aesthetic and/or ritual properties over the course of the Upper Paleolithic. the picture that emerges is one of broad continuity between the two periods. that grave goods were an integral part of mortuary practices starting in the Middle Paleolithic and increased in frequency in later periods—slowly during the Early Upper Paleolithic and more rapidly in the Late Upper Paleolithic (Duff. Rather than suggesting a radical behavioral departure in the Early Upper Paleolithic. while stone casings were found associated exclusively with the Early Upper Paleolithic. of course. Comparing the number and kinds of features associated with burials also results in interesting patterns. ´ ˇ and Lagar Velho. The differences in the nature of the grave goods characteristic of each period could be explained in a number of ways. The presence of pits is noteworthy here. Similarly. Roughly 70% of Middle Paleolithic graves were reported as associated with a pit that either was visible to the excavators or could be inferred from the skeleton’s position. In any case. and Middle Paleolithic burials have more of them. and other ornaments in contrast to the animal bones found in Middle Paleolithic contexts. If this was indeed the case. Its occurrence in some of the Qafzeh burials shows that it was known (and probably used) in the Middle Paleolithic. May 1986: 203–4). even if the Cro-Magnon burials are excluded from the count.s a l v a t o r e a n d c l a r k Grave Markers F 459 of linking modern humans with symbolic behavior or burials inferred from the Upper Paleolithic archaeological record is simply an extension of that traditional typological framework. and Chadderdon 1992). Proportionally more Middle Paleolithic than Early Upper Paleolithic burials have associated features. Indeed. Perhaps the higher incidence of grave features in the Middle Paleolithic sample also reflects this phenomenon. A similar argument could be made about the “incised” mammoth scapulae reported from a number of Eastern European Early Upper Paleolithic burials. ochre. Gargett’s assumption that “the Upper Paleolithic evidence reveals differences that obviate the need for a comparison between the two” (1999:30) is wrong. This is substantially more than the roughly 50% of Early Upper Paleolithic burials claimed to have included pits—pits that in all probability were detected in much the same ways as in Middle Paleolithic contexts. armbands. Discussion and Conclusions Comparing the Middle and Early Upper Paleolithic evidence for burial proves to be an illuminating exercise. perhaps after 20.r i e l . which becomes relatively common in Early Upper Paleolithic graves. That said. what this pattern suggests to us is the emergence of a behavior that appears to have been already well established in the Middle Paleolithic. It is indisputable. The one variable that has repeatedly been argued to show a strong dichotomy between Middle and Early Upper Paleolithic burials is grave goods (Binford 1968.000 years b. pro- duced smoother surfaces on ground and polished bone beads. served as an astringent or antiseptic. The only supposedly empirical treatment to which grave goods have been subjected is Harrold’s “diversity index. Although Early Upper Paleolithic grave goods tend to include bracelets. there is also little doubt that . however.. the presence of discarded shells and the bones of small animals in Early Upper Paleolithic burials would surely constitute little evidence for a significant “cognitive leap” over the Middle Paleolithic pattern of including the discarded bones of large mammals in graves. Munro. is not so much the difference between the two periods as variation within them. this suggests that the meaning originally associated with unworked bones or bone fragments may gradually have come to be embodied by ornaments. necklaces. Given the evidence of continuity suggested by the inclusion of stone tools in many burials of both periods.g. however. Their time/ space distributions are orders of magnitude beyond those of any real or imaginable foraging society or group of societies known to us from ethnography (Clark 1993). May 1986). or even slowed down putrefaction (Wreschner 1980. Stiner. This suggests that it may have come into widespread use only later. It could have provided better insulation against cold and humidity. however. however. and Surovell 2000). Harrold 1980). but they would be of little utility because the meaning attached to each is likely to be culture-specific. a higher proportion of Early Upper Paleolithic than Middle Paleolithic burials are associated with relatively unambiguous grave goods. The gradual nature of this phenomenon is supported by the co-occurrence of animal bones and ornaments at Early Upper Paleolithic sites such as Pavlov. It is. A number of possible interpretations of this clear-cut pattern could be offered. it is now clear that Middle Paleolithic Neanderthals did manufacture some ornaments (see d’Errico et al. then we cannot use them to monitor change in mortuary behavior. since it is one of Gargett’s criteria for purposeful burial and he sees pits as absent in the Middle Paleolithic. Mounds were reported only from Middle Paleolithic contexts. somewhat more frequent. Except for Taramsa 1. although some believe they provide convincing evidence of continuity (e. can be explained in functional rather than symbolic terms. which was covered by a mound. If grave goods are consistently the same within each period. headdresses. 1998 for a review of some of the evidence). Clark. Dolnı Vestonice. The proportional difference between the two is significant.

la methode Bordes. (Duff. However.” contemporary with Neandertals.) phases would make it a much better framework for examining the behavioral and biological processes that were taking place in Western Eurasia at the time ( the typical absence of significant limb segments strongly suggested that the meat had rotted before interment of the bodies. burials that postdate 20. Straus 1990. The numbers of bodies subject to the Neandertal taphonomy will be much smaller because the time period is shorter. Stiner 1994.000–20. two processes seem to have operated. 31 iii 01 Riel-Salvatore and Clark do not address what Gargett (1999) demonstrated. Pred´ ˇ ˇ mostı. the Neolithic body found in the Austrian/Italian Alps (Spindler 1994).000 years of table 1. Pavlov. as at Shanidar and Saint-Cesaire. Number 4. Comments iain davidson and william noble School of Human and Environmental Studies/School of Psychology. as the earliest (and earlier) burials of modern humans in Australia are also in the . as is suggested by the pioneering studies of Binford (1968) and Harrold (1980).000 years b. While useful as a descriptive tool and a lingua franca for scholars. Armidale. the continuity clearly visible in the mortuary data of the Middle and Early Upper Paleolithic suggests that the Upper Paleolithic taken as a whole is not an appropriate unit of comparison. He showed that among the remains of Neandertals claimed as burials. Mellars 1989.000 years b. 1996). On the one hand are bodies crushed by rockfall like beer cans that someone has stomped on.000–10. Rather. It also contrasts sharply with Gargett’s expectations about the Upper Paleolithic as a whole. Bisson 2000).p.000 years b. The continuity documented across the Middle–Upper Paleolithic transition. Clark.g. besides masking much variability in ´ the archaeological record. We have commented elsewhere (Noble and Davidson 1996) that a single open-air “burial” of a Neandertal would do more to confirm the hypothesis of Neandertal deliberate burial than any manipulation of the currently available (and not very reliable) evidence. at least as far as burials are concerned. The findings presented here call into question the basis for this traditional approach to the interpretation of Upper Pleistocene assemblages. Kuhn 1995). If there were about 12 “beer cans” in the 100. cannot be reconciled with the radical culture change at the onset of the Early Upper Paleolithic envisioned by most replacement advocates (e. In sum. an objective often sidelined in scholarly disputes despite its central importance in affirming the significance and uniqueness of archaeology as a form of scientific inquiry. from Qafzeh.000 years ago. is not Natural processes of sediment formation had generally covered these bodies slowly. categorical rejection of Middle Paleolithic burial is clearly unwarranted. The results of the work reported here reinforce those of studies of lithic and faunal assemblages and of site settings and context in underscoring the problems associated with uncritical use of temporal constructs derived from typological systematics (Clark and Lindly 1991.) and late (20. and Chadderdon 1992). and we have no doubt that some bodies from this period would have been found with missing parts just like the “rotten meat” Neandertals. It would appear from all this that the Upper Paleolithic as a category is not a very useful analytical tool (see also Lindly and Clark 1990.000 years of table 2 there should be about 2. of course. The presence of burials of modern humans in the open. Dibble and Rolland 1992. N. and Sungir are—and there are none in the open ´ for the sample in table 1. Such rethinking should not be undertaken in the spirit of defending entrenched positions in the modern-human-origins debate. This taphonomic history would explain the absence of the skull from the Kebara 2 skeleton. is based on unsupported assumptions about qualitative differences between more or less arbitrary phases of the Paleolithic. and the continued use of traditional temporal and conceptual frameworks in Paleolithic research is in need of serious rethinking. Clark. August–October 2001 analyzing burials from the Upper Paleolithic en bloc would show a quite different picture. These tend to be complete but broken collections of bones. This process is ´ also evident in the bodies of “early modern humans. University of New England. This in itself suggests that there is something rather different about the Early Upper Palaeolithic sample that would account for the larger numbers of bodies per thousand years. although it will likely have a significant impact on them. A comparison of the patterns derived from an analysis of Late Upper Paleolithic burials with the patterns here identified for the Early Upper Paleolithic is under way. Australia (Iain. The inclusion of Saint-Cesaire in table 2 confirms our ´ expectation that “beer cans”/rockfall victims occurred after 40. in the 20.460 F c u r r e n t a n t h ro p o l o g y Volume 42. and Chadderdon 1992).p. Brno. 2351. Many of the burials are in the open—certainly Dolnı Vestonice. There will be modern human bodies in caves for the same two reasons as for Neandertals. and indeed there is something different.p. especially Magdalenian.Davidson@une. That people were wandering around in dangerous landscapes long after the emergence of modern human morphology is shown by Otzi. This is largely because of the numerical dominance of Late Upper Paleolithic.W. Subdivision into early (40. Gargett’s point was that the good taphonomic information from well-excavated Neandertal skeletons allows discussion of the taphonomic histories of the bodies. On the other hand are bodies that had lain in natural depressions in the sediment such as might have been formed by cryoturbation at La Ferrassie. it should be part of an effort to increase the credibility of our interpretations..S.

1996]). Shanidar. vanhaeren Institut de Prehistoire et de Geologie du Quaternaire. Kebara.5 million years ago. they would have considered the Middle Palaeolithic burials natural in origin if they had found significant differences between them and the Upper Paleolithic burials. f. 9) analysis of “beer cans” (Qafzeh. Further inspection of the nature of the grave goods confirms a substantial difference between table 1 and table 2—all of the things claimed as grave goods in table 1 occur as part of the debris left in caves used by Neandertals and might have washed into natural hollows as part of the normal sedimentation process. Not only have many cultural anthropologists already criticized this faith in the continuous and inexorable progress of mankind (e. It is more likely that they did not sleep with their gear. ´ ´ CNRS. d’errico and m. keeps the debate on Neandertal burial practices open and eventually weakens Gargett’s position. people from the Upper Palaeolithic (and contemporary people in other parts of the world) often were. given the variability of mortuary practices in traditional societies . complex mortuary practices that leave little or no archaeological evidence. be only the presence or absence of funerary practices rather than their apparent variability that matters for identifying evolutionary trends. Also.derrico@iquat.s a l v a t o r e a n d c l a r k Grave Markers F 461 open (Davidson 1999a). The assumption on which they base their analysis—that the earliest phases of a cultural phenomenon must necessarily be characterized by simpler forms of behaviour—should certainly be substantiated before being accepted as a reliable theoretical framework. in our view. It is not by comparing and looking for differences between Middle Palaeolithic and Upper Palaeolithic burials that one can establish whether the former are natural or anthropic in origin. according to their model. and 3 show that there was a substantial difference between the bodies that date earlier than the Early Upper Palaeolithic and the sample of later ones. Kuper 1988) but also one can wonder whether mortuary practices are the best place to apply such a model. then. France ´ (f. Either the “rotten meat” had their gear with them. Noble and Davidson 1989. mostly of old finds. A x2 test on the frequencies of grave goods in the two sets of data gives a value (x2 p 9. Neandertals (and contemporary early modern people) were not buried.5). This is a separate matter from the issue of variation in symbolic behaviour during the Upper Palaeolithic (Davidson and died in their beds. that Riel-Salvatore and Clark argue that there is a similarity between table 1 and table 2. Talence. we find that their attempt has some major weaknesses. There are two possible scenarios that do not require these finds to be grave goods. in this case. Still. therefore. and osteologically based descriptions. The fact that most of those in the sample were the juveniles from La Ferrassie suggests that these are washins.. We omit Teshik Tash because it is so clearly ravaged that little can be said about the original state of deposition of the body except that it was not buried.u-bordeaux. Overall. Le Roc de Marsal. 2. as it may be less likely that very young infants were carrying their gear. We need natural analogies to test natural interpretations. no reason this should have been different in Upper and even Middle Palaeolithic societies. durable grave goods may be absent in burials produced by highly complex societies. If we are right. and it is precisely the lack of these analogies that. Therefore. complex cultural systems may be characterized by simple burials with high archaeological visibility or. but carrying seems to have been the distinctive hominine adaptation since 2.01). “Grave goods” are rare with the “beer cans. We have classified the specimens from table 1 according to Gargett’s (1999: fig. 3 iv 01 The potential of Palaeolithic burials for the debate on the origin of symbolism and. by extension. Dederiyeh) and “rotten meat” (La Chapelle-aux-Saints. We might be tempted to go farther and suggest that Neandertals may not have carried gear with them in the manner of Otzi anyway. the pattern that Riel-Salvatore and Clark try to read as a process may instead represent snapshots of behaviours from different societies with equivalent cognitive abilities. in principle. and the literature on the subject is mainly composed of surveys. We see a major epistemological problem in Riel-Salvatore and Clark’s way of “testing” Gargett’s natural interpretation. and further analysis of the samples reveals what that difference is—modern humans were and Neandertals were not deliberately buried.r i e l . Inspection of the data in table 2 shows the extent to which they have been willing to overlook evidence that they present. Nothing could be a clearer indication of the danger of ignoring taphonomic histories. alternatively. the data in tables 1. Gargett 1989. We see. The inadequacy of Riel-Salvatore and Clark’s approach is demonstrated by the fact that. of articulated oral language and cultural modernity has been often underestimated. The grave goods in table 2 are different from what is found in the earlier sample and would be easier to associate with symbolic structuring of the world (albeit we acknowledge the need for caution pointed out by Riel-Salvatore and Clark). That there are more bodies per thousand years in the sample in table 2 is itself suggestive of different occurrences affecting the items in the two tables.” and those with the “rotten meat” are mostly lithics. Riel-Salvatore and Clark have elegantly confirmed the importance of Gargett’s (1999) analysis. It would. This has been pointed out before by Harrold (1980). 1999b). we welcome RielSalvatore and Clark’s attempt to use burials as an independent means of evaluating processes of biological and cultural change during the Upper Pleistocene. That said. like Otzi. and Universite Bordeaux I. or the lithics washed into the natural hollows where they died. which is highly significant (p ! 0. It comes as a surprise. La Ferrassie. The “beer cans” did not generally have grave goods (except for the flowers—and these have been dismissed many times [Gamble 1989. Amud. and Kiik-Koba). As is shown by the ethnography of traditional societies.

Riel-Salvatore and Clark draw the line opportunistically at various places along that continuum. Given that many scholars believe that the placing of grave goods in Neandertal burials has not been unambiguously proven. 1 iv 01 Riel-Salvatore and Clark caricature my recent contributions (see also Gargett 2000) by implying that Gargett (1999) is nothing more than a replay of Gargett (1989) when in fact it examines a wide range of processes that determine the preservation of skeletons in caves and rock-shelters. and everything in between. Independent of their views on the transition. b. These studies have shown that Upper Palaeolithic technocomplexes. are useful analytical entities for exploring cultural variability. Neanderthals apparently never ‘refined’ this capacity to the same degree as modern humans and were therefore condemned to be replaced by them.p. Why not. instead of grappling with the issues I raise they defer to Binford (1968). 2351. instead. most of our colleagues share with us the opinion that insight into this time period will not be reached without a better characterization of these entities. for example. simply reflect cultural changes with no evolutionary implications. We also have reservations about the criteria used here to separate the Middle from the Upper Palaeolithic and subdivide the latter. g a r g e t t Archaeology and Palaeoanthropology. Furthermore. If this is truly a test of what they claim is my “position” (i. sometimes dubious. why do they ignore the many fragmentary Middle Paleolithic remains? The relatively few more-or-less-intact specimens claimed as burials represent only a small subset of a sample that describes a continuum of preservation including. however. Furthermore. Zilhao and d’Errico ˜ 1999a. and flakebased industries occur in the Upper Palaeolithic. In other words. The use of this last criterion seems to overlook the contribution to the characterization of Palaeolithic industries of recent technological studies (see Zilhao and d’Errico ˜ 1999a:357 for an extensive discussion). The vast majority of Middle Paleolithic specimens fall into the first two of these categories. Armidale. N. which incorporates almost all of the claimed evidence.462 F c u r r e n t a n t h ro p o l o g y Volume 42. articulated complete or nearly complete skeletons.” From the debate on this topic (see d’Errico et al. only a few could be considered complete or nearly so.. as is suggested by archaeological evidence. Mellars 1999) it is clear that they defend a quite opposite view—that Neandertals were fully capable of symbolic behaviours and may even have produced them before contact with anatomically modern humans. get rid of all chronological barriers and look for significant clusters in the available data? This would be more coherent and avoid the impression that boundaries are being chosen to fit the model. this is stacking the deck in favor of their hoped-for outcome.—is of little value considering the uncertainty of the dating methods of this period and the fact that most of the burials are not directly dated. Beyond this. carried ˜ out in a quite different theoretical framework. ro b e r t h . Their unwillingness to acknowledge my misgivings about what they treat as evidence for burial severely hobbles their argument. we cannot oblige Middle Palaeolithic people to bury their dead in the same way Upper Palaeolithic people did to grant them the right to be incorporated into modern humanity while at the same time claiming diversity of mortuary practices to be a hallmark of cultural Incidentally. Number 4. University of New England. Clearly. Riel-Salvatore and Clark’s crusade against the Upper Palaeolithic technocomplexes is even more surprising given that they use chronological limits between technocomplexes (Gravettian/Solutrean) to establish an “arbitrary” frontier within the Upper Palaeolithic. Their “sample” of Middle Paleolithic “burials” includes only those specimens that conform to criteria they say allow one to infer purposeful burial. seen as chronologically and spatially defined technical systems. their argument begs the question whether purposeful burial occurred in the Middle Paleolithic. and incomplete skeletons. First. Criticisms can also be leveled at their database. differences between Middle Palaeolithic and Upper Palaeolithic burials do not imply the natural origin of the former and may. disarticulated. School of Human and Environmental Studies. their paper has other serious failings. that purposeful burial first occurred in the Upper Paleolithic). a thorough examination of the evidence. which was. fragmented. 1998. for symbolic behaviour associated with Middle Palaeolithic burials. and a critical reappraisal of relevant sites and C14 dates. Blade-based industries occur in the Middle Palaeolithic. Riel-Salvatore and Clark’s attempt to examine the empirical evidence without any wishful thinking about a human type’s cognitive abilities in fact complements Zilhao and d’Errico’s effort. none of whom has adequately examined the variables with which I deal in my recent article. The chronological criterion—before and after 40. The blade/flake ratio is even more inadequate. notably from Arcy. Harrold (1980). and Defleur (1993). Riel-Salvatore and Clark group Zilhao ˜ and d’Errico with researchers such as Mellars who “argue that despite their ability to act symbolically. including observations on site taphonomy. Teshik- . they contend that they began by selecting articulated specimens and included only those for which other archaeological discoveries supported the inference of purposeful burial. Yet their sample includes a number of specimens that are anything but articulated (to say nothing of those for which the degree of articulation is a matter of interpretation)–for example. Australia (gargett@pacificlegacy. This does not appear in their list. in the absence of a natural analogue.W. articulated portions of skeletons.e.S. should have been their first concern. single fragments. and the ecological adaptation of European huntergatherers during oxygen-isotope stages 3–2. including changes in mortuary practices.000 b. and not just in the Near East (Bar-Yosef and Kuhn 1999). August–October 2001 (see Pearson 1999). and the vast majority of putative burials fall into the third.

s a l v a t o r e a n d c l a r k Grave Markers F 463 Tash. I hope that they will see this paper for what it is—a wholesale recycling of dubious archaeological claims in the pursuit of evidence for the regional “continuity” model of modern human origins. must one go on believing that they were created with a ritual purpose in mind? Finally. With clear evidence for cryoturbation just a few meters away from the putative burial mounds. more often than not. Ultimately their argument is fallacious and their analysis unconvincing because both rest on the a priori acceptance of shakily supported claims of purposeful Middle Paleolithic burial. Moreover. missing the telltale pubic architecture. In much the same category is the claim that the mounds at La Ferrassie are “ritual structures. the straightforward kind of pattern that one can read off the skeletons—sex. but one can certainly be skeptical about their conclusions. Such a profile could not have occurred if the mounds had been artificially created and later covered naturally with sediment (unless they were then subjected to cryoturbation—a coincidence that I would find it hard to imagine. abundant evidence of cryoturbation in stratum c/d (from which all of the remains at La Ferrassie derive). which have an unknown degree of sexual dimorphism. pathological lesions. erella hovers and anna belfer-cohen Institute of Archaeology.” But is it reasonable to suggest that significant patterns will be observable on both sides of the Middle/Upper Paleolithic “boundary”? The answer seems to depend on one’s definition of “significant” and one’s choice of “pattern. determining sex in skeletons that are.huji. ´ ´ These specimens were apparently included because of a belief that they had been purposefully buried based on fragments of bone or chipped stone interpreted as funeral offerings and inferences of invisible pits and other socalled ritual structures. Jerusalem 91905. such pits could just as easily be seen as prerequisite for natural burial. in Heim’s diagram the tops of at least two of them are leaning to one side and have the shape of cresting waves. On the face of it. They seem unconcerned that many of these “patterns” are reified categories that have their origin in the questionable interpretations of other archaeologists. The mounds that Peyrony (1934) describes are in all probability sediments that have been distorted and convoluted by cryoturbation. I am resigned to the reality that most paleoanthropologists will never be persuaded by my “position. But sex and age are “straightforward” only if one overlooks the difficulty of.” which fails to take into account the obvious. Although this is a plausible scenario. the inference that the pit once existed depends on the a priori assumption that the individual had been purposefully buried—more circular argument. although it is impossible to rule it out). Assessing relative robusticity is in no way straightforward in a very robust. Regourdou.” but I hope that readers will see that my skepticism is rigorously empirical and grounded in a nuanced understanding of archaeological site formation. However. especially given that the very few observable depressions were filled not with the same sediments into which they were dug.r i e l .il). All of Riel-Salvatore and Clark’s conclusions rest on arguments from want of evident comparing the Middle Paleolithic with the Upper Paleolithic is a reasonable test of what they call my “hypothesis. Here. Riel-Salvatore and Clark’s criteria for assessing behavioral “continuity” are only weakly justified. but with the same sediments that overlie those into which they were dug. Riel-Salvatore and . which is strongly suggestive of natural in-filling and in any case precludes the use of the pit or low spot as unequivocal support for the claim of purposeful burial. age. Perhaps most damaging to their argument. Four of these convolutions are on the order of 50 cm high. and Heim (1968) includes a profile that clearly and unequivocally illustrates the convoluted sediments. For example.” There is. Under the circumstances it is hard to see such “evidence” as compelling. La Ferrassie 4a. first of all. For example. requiring a determination based on robusticity and comparison with present-day human sexual dimorphism. biogeographically widespread morphospecies such as the Neandertals.hum. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. interpreting Teshik-Tash’s goat horns as a ritual structure depends on the belief that the individual had been purposefully buried (or at least that Neandertals were capable of burying their dead). Riel-Salvatore and Clark’s sampling technique has the effect of skewing the data on which their test is to be conducted. which would be expected in a purposeful burial. and Saint-Cesaire.” The most egregious misuse of the notion of pattern is in their so-called burial features (primarily pits and mounds). the “evidence” that Riel-Salvatore and Clark employ is at best equivocal. Thus. it is by no means the basis for an unequivocal inference of “continuity. Moreover. and these are presented as support for claims of purposeful burial. are the present-day remnants of “mounds” like the nine so often considered mortuary structures. Riel-Salvatore and Clark aver that fragments of bone might just represent the beginning of a trajectory of cultural transformation that sees them as the meaningfully constituted Middle Paleolithic equivalent of the carved images and ornaments of the Early Upper Paleolithic. Israel (hovers@ h2. and there are many natural ways) promote natural burial. We are told that there are 31 pits associated with Middle Paleolithic remains. for example. Low spots (regardless of how they were created. Laville and Tuffreau’s (1984) photograph of the witness profile at La Ferrassie clearly shows the result of cryoturbation in stratum c/d. Next there is the kind of pattern that one needs to argue more strenuously for. What this means for Riel-Salvatore and Clark’s data on differential mortuary treatment is an open question. then. 30 iii 01 Tracing uniquely human behaviors has always been a focal point of prehistoric research. In all cases of unobservable pits. in the absence of articulation as a sign of purposeful burial.

Certainly this site resembles more the finds known from the Late Upper Paleolithic than it does accepted instances of intentional burial in the Middle Paleolithic. in fact. a caveat is called for: human behavior is multifaceted. encompassing as it does constituents which are variably and not always understandably interrelated. Number 4. Schepartz 1993. Moreover.” Another important point made by Riel-Salvatore and Clark is that the simplistic equation of culture with hominid type is counterproductive to attempts to understand culture change at the Middle/Upper Paleolithic boundary. the sheer numbers (over 13. the validity of Middle Paleolithic burials).com). From the perspective of mosaic cultural evolution. and (4) provide an impressive bibliography that proves that you did your homework. These classifications and cultural subdivisions of the entities of the Early Upper Paleolithic rely mainly on lithic techno-typological criteria and certainly have their problems. (3) follow Established Doctrine wherever possible. By extension.. U. some behaviors may change gradually while others remain static and yet others may undergo dramatic modifications. 2 ii 01 Riel-Salvatore and Clark have done rather well in following the modern rules of successful publication: (1) keep the subject as narrow as possible to minimize the number of people who are qualified or likely to criticize it. Dealing with the Paleolithic. nor is it a yardstick against which the intensity of other symbolic behaviors can be measured. g ro v e r s . Port Angeles. These are rarely. Their biggest failing is in rule 1. Hovers et al. we have to face the consequences of that answer. Intentional burial is not associated exclusively with any one of the hominid taxa known from this time span (Belfer-Cohen and Hovers 1992. as is clearly seen from RielSalvatore and Clark’s table 3. even if one accepts that mortuary behavior changed gradually from the Middle Paleolithic to the Early Upper Paleolithic. Understanding the Paleolithic story depends on the scale of one’s observations and insights as it does on the data themselves. Otte and Keeley 1990) are obliterated when burial data are used to treat the Early Upper Paleolithic as a whole. 1995). if ever. Gradual transformation as the main explanatory mechanism of culture change masks the boundaries between “cultures. human behavior becomes more complex through time. classifications of this type are more consistent with the dynamics of the period.” The differences among the Chatelperronian (considered to be a Mousterian-based tradition).000 years ago (Bader 1998:217).464 F c u r r e n t a n t h ro p o l o g y Volume 42. the rate of change in mortuary behavior cannot be used as a proxy for the tempo and mode of cultural evolution.000 beads) and variety of grave goods are overwhelming (Bader 1998:72–73. While the article deals with a particular phenomenon of human behavior. (krantz@olypen. At any given time and place. at Sungir. With these points taken. For instance. at Chauvet and Cosquer Caves (Bahn and Vertut 1997) remains unaccounted for. k r a n t z 363 Gunn Rd. But the existence of intentional burial in the Middle Paleolithic record speaks only to the presence of this particular behavior as part of the cultural package of hominids at this time. The European Middle and Upper Paleolithic record is a case in point. but when observed in more restricted time spans the Paleolithic pattern of culture change is clearly not linear. simple or clear-cut. August–October 2001 Clark are to be congratulated for bringing to the forefront of contemporary discussion the complexities of the archaeological record concerning intentional human burial in the Middle and Upper Paleolithic. Other mechanisms need to be invoked in order to explain first the revolutionary and dramatic appearance of such art and second its coexistence with the relatively conservative mortuary behavior. 2001). Indeed. It is for this reason that. the Aurignacian (believed to be intrusive into Western Europe). Wash. it relates to a profound analytical issue—the “measure” of the phenomena observed in the archaeological record. 1998.000 years ago. where change through time is patterned as mosaic evolution. Gradualism is more apparent than real for some characteristics of burials. we rest assured that the unfolding record is one of mosaic cultural evolution rather than of a linear trajectory of change.S. 98362.g. “pleisiomorphic” capacity for symbolic behavior (Hayden 1993. Semino et al. (2) quantify all data for at least arithmetic manipulation (statistics is better and computer analysis is best). the occurrence of large-scale parietal art in the Early Upper Paleolithic. an Early Upper Paleolithic site dated to 30. One way to come to terms with this unsettling reality is by remembering that this is. Gamble 1994:186–87).000–25. 30. gradual shift in burial practices does not appear to be an all-inclusive pattern of change through time between the Middle and the Early Upper Paleolithic. 77. It seems that whenever we succeed in obtaining an answer that has eluded us for years (in the case. the occurrence of intentional burial need not be taken a priori as an indication of the existence of other symbolic behaviors. Nevertheless. Much of the recent anthropological literature epitomizes intentional burial as the marker of a plethora of symbolic capacities (see Gargett 1999 and references therein). ca. Tillier 1990) and may well be an expression of a shared. Unquestionably..A. where they have included both Middle Paleolithic (Mousterian) and Early . including population movements and influx into Europe during the time span of the Early Upper Paleolithic (e. the normative procedure of scientific inquiry. in the Paleolithic we are dealing with time and space distribution orders of magnitude greater than those “of any real or imaginable foraging society or group of societies known to us from ethnography. and the regional variants of the Gravettian (d’Errico et al. They achieve this by confronting the available data instead of accepting Gargett’s (1999:30) premise that “the Upper Paleolithic evidence reveals differences [in burial behavior] that obviate the need for a comparison” between these two periods.

the bigger the bibliography the better—it shows that they have read all the pertinent material. Despite all of the above. At the end of the Upper Palaeolithic and the beginning of the Mesolithic. there are simply too many people who are or believe they are familiar with this subject. S-223 50 Lund. Their major opponent. many finds will probably be excluded. for a less-than-dramatic change of interment circumstances at the Middle-toEarly-Upper Paleolithic boundary. One of these is the preservation of the skeleton. cited in Boule and Vallois 1952:215) stated quite clearly that there was no evidence to this effect. using arguments for or against some form of symbolic act? In this context the assessment of the Early Palaeolithic hominid remains from Atapuerca assumes significance (Bahn 1996). there are several instances in which considerable handling and circulation of skeletal parts occurred both peri. They follow rule 3 in accepting without question that the Skhul and Qafzeh burials are of Mousterian date. the reason for that transition would have to be correctly identified. For a professional paper the practice ought to be to cite only enough sources to avoid plagiarism and those that the usual readers might want to consult.and postmortem (Cauwe 1998. The discussion of grave goods in conjunction with skeletons can scarcely be left as a simple matter of presence versus absence.Larsson@ark. Is it not more important to try to discover the preconditions for the deliberate handling and deposition of skeletal parts. What was the nature of the cultural transition. Yet there are strong indications that human bones were used in rituals associated with conceptions about the special status of humans. The same applies to the interpretation of the distribution of hominid remains and other bones at the Early Palaeolithic site of Bilzingsleben—whether as a form of symbolic handling (Mania 1998:51–55) or the result of natural taphonomic processes (Gamble 1999:172).s a l v a t o r e a n d c l a r k Grave Markers F 465 Upper Paleolithic interments and covered the fairly large area of Europe and the Near East. which means that these cases are not included among burials. but the arithmetic treatment is as detailed as the data allow. Certain differences are suggested between burials in this period and those in the later Upper Palaeolithic. I ¯ disagree. Their conclusion is an apparent requirement of the multiregional-evolution theory. Further interesting aspects of mortuary practice could also have been considered. and there is no doubt that they represent traces of actions with symbolic value. If it is possible to distinguish special patterns in the distribution and composition of these skeletal parts. and how did it relate to human anatomy? lars larsson Institute of Archaeology. What bothers me most is their acceptance of La Ferrassie as “definite” burials when the excavators themselves (Capitan and Peyrony in 1909. Until the appearance of the Chatelperronian there was no change in the Mousterian Neandertals other than the beginning of tooth-size reduction (Brace 1995). This means that the identification of collections of human bones as graves is not really such an important issue. however. there is clear continuity from Mousterian to their immediate successors in Europe in terms of lithic techniques and skeletal remains. The need to decouple Early from Late Upper Paleolithic is not sufficiently appreciated. given these data. What tends to receive less consideration is the fact that burial is an act rooted in a mental conceptual world. The quantification of data (rule 2) is a bit looser than might be desirable because so much information is missing or unclear. Sweden (Lars. and hope soon to publish some information showing that the Skhul burials were almost ¯ certainly about 35. 31 iii 01 There are good arguments both for and against the existence of deliberate burials in the Middle Palaeolithic. Without them Riel-Salvatore and Clark’s picture of a gradual transition from Middle through Upper Paleolithic would be greatly altered. University of Lund.000 years old and those at Qafzeh perhaps a bit more recent. We project our own conceptions of symbolic acts onto a culture borne by Neanderthal man—a species seemingly different from our own. but at least they avoid the Later Upper Paleolithic and stay out of the rest of the world. did somewhat better with rule 1 by covering only the earlier time zone and using far fewer examples. At least they are able to make a fairly good case.r i e l . My inclusion of rule 4 will annoy some of my good friends. If only complete. Let us hope that the debate over natural processes versus culturally based activities will continue. This is clear from observations from Mesolithic burials (Larsson 1993)—admittedly much . not on soft bodies. while in the Levant this seems not to be the It is not just a question of the criteria for regarding a collection of human bones as a grave but also what variations within a criterion one is prepared to accept. articulated skeletons are accepted as evidence of burial (Gargett 1999). This is why Riel-Salvatore and Clark’s claim to be able to distinguish clear similarities in the treatment of human bodies during the Middle Palaeolithic and Early Upper Palaeolithic is so important. and yes. For students’ papers. with a conceptual world which may have differed significantly from that represented by Homo sapiens sapiens. I find some useful contributions here. For this to have been the case. An alternative view would be of a remarkably rapid in-place transition. Cook 1991). What is most conspicuously missing is any successful explanation of why the earliest Upper Paleolithic in Europe included Neandertals whereas the Mousterian in the Levant included some skeletons of more modern anatomy. Articulated skeletons are rarely found here. then they are of more significance for abstract thinking about ideas on the treatment of the body after death than complete skeletons in cave deposits. It was gratifying to learn that the rare occurrences of Mousterian red ochre had been rubbed on hard surfaces. they have managed to keep their database down to just 77 examples. Still.

suggesting that it had probably been caused by the pickaxe of a worker during the excavation (Delluc and Delluc 1989). . Cambridge. Here deliberately deposited objects occur not just alongside the interred but. This aspect does not appear to have been considered. indicate(s) that the individual under study survived the wound for some time. It would be more rewarding to learn his criteria for accepting something as a grave.” Broca had also noted that the “old man” buried at Cro-Magnon had a “hollow similar to that produced in our day by a spent ball” in one of his femurs. on the . in the 19th century. The woman would probably have had some loss of language or cognition. 1 iv 01 Riel-Salvatore and Clark have evaluated the flaws in Gargett’s arguments and data concerning Middle Paleolithic burial and symboling capacity. in several cases. documents a rounding of the ´ edge in a process of healing rather than the jagged edge that would occur if a pickaxe had struck an ancient skull. Gargett argues ad absurdum in cases where a natural death on account of natural processes cannot be ruled out. . Hallam Movius excavated many levels at Pataud extending from the Aurignacian and Perigordian to the Proto-Magdalenian and Solutrean. Where.000 years. depending on the season. Mass. one assumes that some deaths were caused by rockfalls. that the phenomenon continue to be critically studied. were all the burials? Did their absence mean that no one had died near there. The cave is at the foot of the high cliff shelf and overhang of the Abri Pataud. There are data at Cro-Magnon that raise issues of a different type. or. It is not the fact of such injury that is relevant but that such injuries may have been more common than is indicated in our rare Paleolithic burials. Sakka of the Musee de l’Homme. The left temple of the female interred in the same cave of Cro-Magnon has a hole the size and the shape of a spear point. have grave goods or criteria indicating status or rank as noted by the Binfords. That rockfalls really did occur is clear from the pieces of cliff found in the stratigraphies. An argument against Broca’s interpretation of the hole was. would be found in more or less undisturbed positions. probably in a shallow pit. When Paul Broca. in the grave fill a few centimetres above it. Harvard University. I present some data and pose some questions concerning the presence or absence of Paleolithic burial data that may have relevance to the issues they raise. the female. would not have been highly mobile and was probably able to survive for some weeks because of a seasonal encampment at Les Eyzies. but the skull shows that she survived some 15 days” (Broca 1873). one may wonder why similar occurrences are not found in southern Africa. U. alexander marshack Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. If they were a common cause of death. Number 4. Fabri. or have contained at most the momentary weapon or tool of that individual? Such simple burials would not have persisted archeologically. that there were no burials. with the comment that “new bone growth . prepared for me by M.and early Upper Paleolithic symboling and problemsolving capacities. with Gargett. and Mallegni 1997). It has not been possible to determine whether such deposits can be compared to the “real” grave goods in the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic graves discussed here. in certain cases. August–October 2001 later than those studied here but nevertheless capable of providing important insights into human behaviour over time and space. not only because of taphonomic processes but also because of their seasonal locale and context.466 F c u r r e n t a n t h ro p o l o g y Volume 42. We must keep in mind that we are not going to arrive at an unambiguous view of the occurrence of burials during the Middle Palaeolithic or even. such as hyenas. on the floodplain below. examined it. except for the four skeletons in Cro-Magnon a few yards below. The “old man” at Cro-Magnon had survived till his burial at the apparently “long-term” seasonal site at Les Eyzies. A dozen years later an arrowhead was discovered in the thigh of a late Upper Paleolithic female buried at San Teodora Cave in Sicily (Bachechi. he wrote that a “flint instrument” had appar- ently produced the hole and that “the width of the opening shows that the brain must have been injured . There is a sense in Cro-Magnon that there had been separate recurrent burials. Riel-Salvatore and Clark have adopted more creative approach. When I reported Broca’s description (Marshack 1985) I was informed by numerous colleagues that there was no evidence of interpersonal violence or intergroup aggression in the Upper Paleolithic. I agree with much of their presentation and will not dwell on the details. the neuroanatomist who had recently found that language could be disabled by injury to the left frontal lobe.A. This makes the question of grave goods more complicated. and so deaths would periodically have occurred during a group’s seasonal round. not only humans but also other cave-dwelling animals. chiefly with arguments for and against the criteria for interpreting remains as the result of a conscious act of symbolic relevance. or that taphonomical processes had destroyed thousands of years of evidence? Would those who died while the group was camped on the shelf have been buried on that shelf. however. If. the Upper Palaeolithic.S. Riel-Salvatore and Clark note that the dating and significance of the beads and imagery found in the multiple burial at Cro-Magnon have been questioned. . 02138. in fact. published some years later. a period encompassing some 15. Paleolithic hunter-gatherers were seasonally mobile. with an injury to skull and brain. It is important. A macrophoto of the hole. having for years argued for a broad and diverse range of pre. where numerous caves were inhabited during the Middle Palaeolithic—although it should be pointed out that relatively few have been studied in detail. However. . Would accidental death at a seasonal camp have invited a burial that was different from that found at longer-term sites or shelters or in their nearby caves? Would the pragmatics of burial at a temporary habitation have led to a simple burial. which overlooks the Vezere River and its flood´ ` plain.

As my table 1 shows. 20 fetus not child ! 30–35 ! 30–35 Positiona ? ? E F F E/F E E E E E F E E EV E E E E/F – E/F E/F E/F Orientation ? SE-NW N-S N-S N-S S-N N-S E-W E-W E-W N-S N-S NW-SE NW-SE NW-SE S-N SW-NE N-S S-N – S-N S-N S-N Ochre yes yes yes ? yes yes yes yes yes yes no ? yes yes no yes yes yes ? – ? yes yes Featuresb P D P. indicate a cultural discrimination of women? This is simply a set of questions concerning the possible variability of early burial behavior and its dependence on context and circumstance. by the later Upper Paleolithic not only had there been an increase in population.s a l v a t o r e a n d c l a r k Grave Markers F 467 plateau a few yards above the overhang? If interred on the plateau in winter when the ground was frozen.000–20. extended on the abdomen. have been a “flower burial. a E. EV. Their close-encounter hunting of big game was often dangerous. Would burials at culturally embedded sites have differed from burials at transitory ones? Would the grave goods found or absent in different burials have often been contextual and seasonal? There is inferential evidence in some late Upper Paleolithic imagery that childbirth may have occurred at some remove from a site’s hearth.000 years b. crucial. stones variously arranged. two questions must be answered first: (1) Is the assembled data base adequate? and (2) Is the chronology correctly assessed? As far as the data base is concerned. extended. or presence/absence of a particular class of data at a particular time or place? m. may always have been part of burial behavior. St – ? P P Grave Goods yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes no yes yes yes yes – ? yes yes sources: Onoratini and Combier (1996). St P? St P? St P P P ? ? ? ? ? P. Six were discovered at Barma table 1 Mid Upper Palaeolithic (30. . F. in the time range considered there are approximately twice as many specimens from Italy as are presented by Riel-Salvatore and Clark. tightly flexed. quantity. as some argue. would a “burial” have been under a lattice of antlers or branches? Such a plateau “burial” would not have lasted for centuries.) Burials from Italy and Adjacent South-Eastern France Specimen Grotta du Marronier Grotta du Figuier Grotta dei Fanciulli 4 Grotta dei Fanciulli 5 Grotta dei Fanciulli 6 Grotta del Caviglione Barma Grande 1 Barma Grande 2 Barma Grande 3 Barma Grande 4 Barma Grande 5 Barma Grande 6 Baousso da Torre 1 Baousso da Torre 2 Baousso da Torre 3 Arene Candide 1 Paglicci 2 Paglicci 25 Ostuni 1 Ostuni 1 bis Ostuni 2 Veneri 1 Veneri 2 Sex ? ? M F F? M M M F? F? M M M M ? M M F F ? ? M F Age ca.p. use of a natural depression. mussi Dipartimento di Scienze dell’Antichita. including adjacent south-eastern France.Mussi@caspur. The pragmatics of context. and sleeping areas.” but it was certainly a seasonal burial at a seasonal place. St P. The Neanderthals. St.r i e l . but it might have lasted long enough to mark that territory and place for some generations of a cultural group using the shelter. Mussi (2001). craft. E/F. social complexity. 8 2–3 adult old 13–15 adult adult 33–35 12–13 14–15 adult adult adult 25–30 ca. Universita di ` ` Roma “La Sapienza. Would the pragmatics of a Neanderthal burial at a transitory hunting site or encampment have differed from more “formal” burials at long-term seasonal shelters such as those at La Ferrassie? The well-known burial at Shanidar may not. 15 14–15 13–14 18–20 ca. were seasonally mobile. Would the death of a woman or infant at such a time have invoked a simple burial near the birthing place? Would such a contextual burial. What type of burial would have occurred when a Neanderthal group was “on the road”? At the other end of our chronology. St St P P. The available data are. of course. The Franco-Cantabrian sanctuary caves regionally document this generic process. as much as the symbolism of b P. I will focus on the Italian sample of Upper Palaeolithic burials. St P. extended with flexed legs. Italy (M.” Rome. burial pit. and intensive exploitation of resources within a territory but longer-term sites had increasingly become embedded in a more complex symbolic cultural surround. like anatomically modern humans of the early Upper Paleolithic. 2 iv 01 To comment on a review paper such as this. which might skew the available record. D. but can one adequately argue pro or con degrees of early species capacity for symboling behavior from the nature.

this poorly researched paper fails to provide either a new methodological approach or circumstantial evidence allowing a better understanding of Palaeolithic graves or of the Middle-to-Upper Palaeolithic transition. There are major differences in technology.. Bisson.000–20.000 and 20.468 F c u r r e n t a n t h ro p o l o g y Volume 42. Not only has such a subdivision long been standard among both archaeologists and physical anthropologists—and obviously in the study of burial practices—but it has already been further refined: at an international symposium held in Moravia in 1995.” The so-called new dates for Barma Grande have already been discussed elsewhere (Bolduc.S. U. notorious for both incompleteness and duplication [Mussi 1989]). as linked with behavioral changes including technology and subsistence (e. To sum up. lawrence g. N..” redated by Aldhouse-Green and Pettit (1998).) to allow a better understanding of changes through time. The time gap and some recurrent characteristics of the Mid Upper Palaeolithic burials such as a mostly extended position.p. where an Aurignacian level once existed: the resulting age is 19.000 years b. and human settlement between the .000 years b.000 years ago. the need for the identification of a Mid Upper Palaeolithic. Riel-Salvatore and Clark’s analysis adds to the evidence indicating considerable continuity in many aspects of human adaptation across the latter half of the Upper Pleistocene and supports an analytical distinction between earlier and later Upper Paleolithic time.p.000 years or more. Number 4. 87131. Roebroeks et al. subsistence. Saint-Cesaire. Reifying them has forced prehistorians to support an essentially punctuationist model of change that is increasingly indefensible. all over the middle latitudes of Eurasia. Freeman (1973) and then I (e. there should be at least some critical assessment of the literature. one without any known depth and a second belonging to a the pleniglacial ones of the Last Glacial Maximum. At a general European level. between 30. the interstadial conditions of Hengelo or Arcy. one of several Ligurian sites at which C14 determinations on human remains are currently under way (V. it was clearly enunciated by John Campbell (1977) in his study of the Upper Paleolithic of Britain—which is not surprising. August–October 2001 Grande.000–10. for example. and elaborate grave goods all argue against the hypothesis of continuity in mortuary practices. was discussed by a group of 27 specialists from 11 European countries and substantiated by an even wider number of scientific contributions (Mussi and Roebroeks 1996.000 years b.) and “late” (20. and White (1996). Tisnerat. generalized use of ochre. 2000). 2001). University of New Mexico. much emphasis is given to the “proposal” of subdividing the Upper Palaeolithic into “early” (40.g.p. 1996. art.M. (lstraus@unm. are quoted at face value to claim that the Barma Grande burials “postdate 20. 23 iii 01 The time-honored and deeply ingrained but ultimately arbitrary categories of Middle and Upper Paleolithic mask long-lasting processes of biocultural evolution in Western Eurasia. Combe Capelle and Les Cottes are included. they do not belong to the Palaeolithic. instead. Tisnerat.000 years b. the nearly interglacial ones of Bolling/Allerod. Albuquerque. and Niewoehner 1996). It is quite clear that. If this more detailed subdivision is used.000 years earlier than the ´ Mid Upper Palaeolithic burial. but. Brennan 1991. while the Neandertal graves span 50. some 10. and White make use of three bone samples. The preliminary results do not contradict previously suggested archaeological correlations (Mussi 1986. The notion of the “Upper Paleolithic” as a monolithic “stage” in human evolution is highly debatable.000 years.g. and omit most of the evidence on Predmostı that is easily available in Jelınek ˇ ´ ´ (1991). the Mid Upper Palaeolithic burials are the first uncontroversial evidence of anatomically modern humans’ burying their dead.A. Suffice it to say that Bisson. Saint-Cesaire. The distinction between Early and Late Upper Paleolithic is of proven significance in the study of biological stress and functional anatomy. stones and other arrangements. or the Dryas ¨ ¨ III crisis. Churchill et al. straus Department of Anthropology. Among many others seeing such a distinction in the record. while an age in excess of 30. the many robust and tall adolescents and adults of the Mid Upper Palaeolithic burials are linked by recent studies not to hybrids but to anatomically modern human groups interconnected by significant gene flow and enjoying high nutritional standards (Formicola and Giannecchini 1999. Their age clusters in the millennia around 25. Churchill.000 years would be expected if this futile exercise in “paleostratigraphy” had any scientific meaning at all. Cinq-Mars. since the two periods of human occupation were separated by a hiatus in settlement of this northerly region of Europe due to abandonment during the Last Glacial Maximum. with Combe Capelle and Les Cottes best dismissed and only one Early ´ Upper Palaeolithic grave left. 2000). This is not a new idea.p. with more similarities in terms of hunting and gathering between the Middle and the earlier Upper Paleolithic than between the Early and the Late Upper Paleolithic. Furthermore. Human culture and even anatomy were not the same under. Riel-Salvatore and Clark do not mention the “Red Lady of Paviland.. personal communication. not only all the specimens assembled in my table but practically all those of Riel-Salvatore and Clark fall within the Mid Upper Palaeolithic time range: they are Cro-Magnon burials related either to the final Aurignacian or to the Upper Perigordian (Bouchud 1966. and Mussi 1996). While state-of-the-art knowledge cannot be expected of authors working with secondhand inventories (including May 1986. ´ according to Gambier’s revision (1990). Formicola. the third was apparently found at 8 m. Movius 1969). with the latest. Straus 1977) suggested that there was major intensification in human subsistence in the later Upper Paleolithic in Cantabrian Spain. Weaver. the only Up´ per Palaeolithic burial of a Neandertal. Then. from the Atlantic coast to Siberia. 2000).

. humans create a yet more elaborate set of regionally specific cultural responses (e. the Middle-to-Upper Paleolithic transition may amount to a trait-frequency distribution shift. Belfer-Cohen and Hovers 1992.” Finally. settlement systems.g. termination of the old symbol system. David. At the same time. When we want to approach an understanding of processes we must look at things more closely. ultimately part of continuum of change that we call “evolution.g. Universite Bordeaux 1. Neandertals had repeatedly invented prismatic blade manufacturing sometime early in the time range of the Middle Paleolithic. the Pavlovian. I would note that Riel-Salvatore and Clark mistakenly classify the Starosele child burial as a Neandertal when the latter attribution was convincingly disproven in the pages of this journal by Marks and colleagues (1997) as a very likely intrusive Muslim interment.. Indeed. e. The burial evidence highlighted by Riel-Salvatore and Clark thus makes sense in a murky situation. and extinction of Pleistocene faunas.s a l v a t o r e a n d c l a r k Grave Markers F 469 Mousterian and the Magdalenian (e.r i e l . the early Epigravettian). in technology made by Neandertals (e. According to Gargett. glacial retreat. the story can be seen as a play in three acts: Prologue: The Neandertals change (whether on their own or as a result of contacts with Cro-Magnons or both)..g. specialized lithic and osseous technologies and a widespread network of symbols and social relationships made manifest by portable art styles and exotic objects such as marine and fossil shells. and possibly the Uluzzian of Italy [Kuhn and Bietti 2000] and the Szeletian sensu lato of Central Europe [e.. Some regions (Liguria. Hayden 1993.. the Perigordian) and then abandon northern Europe for ´ refugia in the south.000 and 27.g. some regions see the early appearance of so-called Aurignacian assemblages. Act 3: Gradual but irregular amelioration of climate brings expansion of the human range into upland and montane areas and eventually recolonization of northern Europe by Magdalenian bands equipped with complex. Cantabrian Spain) have none.. the Font-Robert Gravettian.g. Human burial appears among Neandertals in some regions (Belgium.g. Act 2: With a climatic downturn. in contrast to Upper Paleolithic hominids. it is now undeniable that Neandertals (not just Cro-Magnons) were capable of change (see d’Errico et al. In short. but with caveats in the comments) and that there were regional developments in subsistence (e. with generalized reforestation. Arrizabalaga and Altuna 2000]. 1997).g.000-year-old engraving on a flint nodule at Quneitra on the Golan Heights [Goren-Inbar 1990]).fr). southwestern France. regional population density and territorialism.p. as has been pointed out (most recently by Bar-Yosef and Kuhn 1999). anne-marie tillier UMR5809 Laboratoire d’Anthropologie des Populations du Passe.p. while other equally archaeologically rich regions (e. Avenue ´ ´ des Facultes. Hovers et al. 2000.g. and even in representation (e. In fact. Tillier 1990.tillier@ ´ anthropologie.. the ca... 55. Bar-Yosef 2000) that Gargett’s approach to the criteria that appear to be primarily of behavioral relevance in the Middle Paleolithic hominid sample is rather subjective. Kuhn 1995). Allsworth-Jones 1986]). 1998. Act 1: Certain useful inventions (e. sea-level rise. where there are dramatic developments in weapons-related technology. and then they get complex. the story is one of mosaic evolution (see. and this was only one aspect of the variability and flexibility that characterized the technology of this “stage” (e.000 b. Straus 1983). Aurignacian split-base antler points) diffuse widely via a network of social relations or via human movements—or both—but with considerable regional variation in content and timing under often relatively benign environmental conditions. and symbol systems and ideology (e. and special nonlocal flints. the Chatelperronian of France and Spain [e. In many respects...g.g. and possibly Farizy. but there are no absolute breaks in all aspects of culture from one intervening Mortilletian period to the next. Epilogue: Dramatic environmental changes. (uncalibrated). Moravia) have many Upper Paleolithic burials but few or no demonstrable Neandertal ones. In the critical period between 40. the Solutrean. Straus 1996.. subsistence intensification.g. the view that. Germany. Riel-Salvatore and Clark tend to accept a view already expressed by others (e. the Olchevian of Croatia [Karavanic 1995]. amber. As a member of the Kebara team. France (am. 6 iv 01 Riel-Salvatore and Clark address the question of the validity of Gargett’s rejection (1989.000 b.g. and a variety of strategies for survival ranging from (momentarily) clinging to old ways to rapid “mesolithization.u-bordeaux. I was quite surprised to learn (Gargett 1999: 64) that if the right hipbone of the Kebara 2 hominid was better preserved than the left it was because it “was nearest the cave’s entrance” and therefore “nearer the source of wind-blown and colluvial sediments. 54. Stiner’s 1994 evidence for increased hunting in west-central Italy after ca. The so-called Middleto-Upper Paleolithic transition can be characterized as a “punctuation event” only from the perspective of a geological time scale.g.” Overall. and yet others (notably southern Iberia) witness the long survival of Mousterian technology (sometimes associated with Neandertals). lead to radical simplification of technologies. Pelegrin 1995. 33405 Talence. and Israel). most reports of such discoveries have failed to recognize the role of natural depositional events.. others have particular “transitional” industries of their own.” In fact the Kebara 2 skeleton was oriented generally west-east and both hipbones had the same orientation with regard to the cave entrance.. and some of those regions also tend to be rich in Cro-Magnon burials. and Jaubert’s 1994 suggestion of specialized bison hunting in southern France). 1999) of the present archaeological evidence for purposeful burial of a few Middle Paleolithic hominids.

Number 4. Reply g. From my personal experience I am confident that this is the case and that it is one more argument for the humanness of Middle Paleolithic hominids.” However. U.” and they deserve credit for this approach. bone lesions.S. Combe-Capelle can no longer be considered part of the Upper Paleolithic sample (see esp. Moreover. paleoclimates of oxygen-isotope stage 3 (57. among Middle Paleolithic hominids in Europe.000 years of the Upper Paleolithic correspond to the relatively mild.A. August–October 2001 Middle Paleolithic hominids (either Neandertals or early modern humans) lacked the capacity for innovative behavior beyond their quest for food seems to be less common among scholars trained in the Old World. we take issue with what he concludes from his research (that all Middle Paleolithic burials can be accounted for by taphonomic processes).. It is Qafzeh 11 instead of Qafzeh 9 that exhibits a bone lesion. they should recognize that sex estimation based on invalid criteria is questionable. describing it as “commendable and. cranial capacity (La Quina 5. These conceptual frameworks are accidents of history. this specimen is fully modern in its skeletal morphology (Howell 1957. And we are certainly not advocating a disregard for taphonomy. and seldom made explicit.000–24. Clark. we very much appreciate the thoughtful comments on our essay. 1999).000years interval (oxygen-isotope stage 2) correspond to the pleniglacial maximum and subsequent recovery. Gambier 1989:195–96). whereas those of the 24. There is no reason to consider the Staroselye child a probable Neanderthal burial. and Chadderdon 1992:222). In table 1. clark and j. Instead. This is because human adaptations to the middle latitudes of western Eurasia—variable from one geographical region to the next—were also very different before and after 20. Their analyses are based on the examination of distributions of variation within and between the two hominid samples of biological (age at death. Examining the Middle/Upper Paleolithic transition. Alekseev 1976. essential if the discipline is ever to overcome the naıve and anachronistic expectation that first-hand ¨ knowledge of data is a sine qua non for credible research conclusions” (Duff. regarding the Upper Paleolithic sites listed in table 2. the low frequency of female skeletons can be explained by the choice of the discriminant variable employed in sex estimation. phylogenetic affiliation) and taphonomic (body position.470 F c u r r e n t a n t h ro p o l o g y Volume 42. always vague. Davidson and Noble claim that we don’t address Gargett’s argument that consideration of taphonomic processes allows for more nuanced assessments of the intentionality involved in claimed human burials. Although I cannot discuss the paper in detail. Finally. RielSalvatore and Clark assert that “more males were recovered than females.000 years ago. Tillier 1984. we expect them to express more uncertainties in their analysis before adopting any interpretation. riel-salvatore Tempe. Thus. The available dates for the Middle Paleolithic sites provide evidence of a long human occupation. The divisions of the Paleolithic (and. indeed. In fact. we think it advantageous to divide the Upper Paleolithic into early and late phases in pattern searches of all kinds that seek to compare it with the Middle Paleolithic. Quite the contrary (although taphonomic research is still very much a work in progress—still in the pattern-searching stages). Riel-Salvatore and Clark compare Middle Paleolithic and Early Upper Paleolithic sites on several categories of “mortuary data. Tillier in Ronen 1982:315) and absolute dating (Marks et al. Ariz. one of us (GAC) has explicitly defended Gargett’s approach. Riel-Salvatore and Clark argue that it is possible to recognize a certain continuity in mortuary behavior. the Paleolithic itself) were created (not discovered) by several generations of French prehistorians in order to erect a temporal grid that would bring order to Stone Age archaeology in the years before the development of radiometric chronologies (Sackett 1981). As does Straus. For each time period all the sites are treated as a sample. A more accurate restatement . although deteriorating. Spy 2). there are major problems in chronology. a. they should also be applied to burials claimed for the Early and Late Upper Paleolithic. pit. sex. All we claim is that something might be gained by taking into consideration the firsthand observations of the original excavators. in fact. Yet the data presented are not always appropriate and/or up-to-date. Discussing the sex distribution of the burials. the mention of a probable burial for La Ferrassie 8 is quite surprising in the light of its original description (Heim 1982:13). While they make some cautious remarks in their introduction. 25 v 01 Although we do not necessarily agree with all of them.” Their aim is to submit both samples of hominid skeletal remains currently considered as the results of purposeful burials “to the same critical scrutiny. given that the first 20. ultimately arbitrary. They embody all kinds of implicit preconceptions and assumptions about biological and cultural evolution and their material correlates that have no intrinsic meaning apart from the conceptual frameworks that define and contextualize them. producing miscommunication as scholars define and use differently terms and concepts thought to be held in common (Clark 1991). I wonder why there is no analysis of the chronological aspects inferred in both the Middle and the Upper Paleolithic. as most of the sites have never been accurately dated. 1997). We disagree.000–11. archaeological deposits) data. Our position is that. For instance.000). if Gargett’s criteria for evaluating the intentionality of Middle Paleolithic burials are to have general applicability. as does the Qafzeh 10 immature specimen (Vandermeersch 1981. and consequently the data come from sites separated by tens of thousands of years. I have a few comments to offer.

9%) are clustered in Moravia.r i e l . indeed. and geomorphological processes preceding and subsequent to the Early Upper Paleolithic. nations. which she claims are so evidently linked to the central European sample. and. three open-air Early Upper Paleolithic burials (Nazlet Khater 1 and 2. they were just arbitrary ways of dividing up time and morphological variation. not whether it was present at all in the Middle Paleolithic. e. We do dispute the utility of the Upper Paleolithic technocomplexes (e. or 76.” This statement is puzzling because table 1 does include an open-air Middle Paleolithic burial.. There are. where no Middle Paleolithic burials are reported. are often interpreted in exactly the same ways as typological constructs (i. Finally. Hominids living in western Eurasia during the later phases of the Middle Paleolithic might have interred their dead with greater frequency than those of the early phases of the Middle Paleolithic not because of progressive increases in cognitive development (which. hominids practiced intentional burial. It might be linked to topography. Wendorf and Schild 1986). sampling error—this is true of any pattern search using archaeological data). just as all western European burials are located in caves. and to what extent. Clark 1999b). One monitor of cognitive development is whether. Clark and Neeley 1987). the Paleolithic itself.. These observations lend support to our argument that the context of burial had much more to do with the kinds of physiogeographical features available for human use in a given region than with any hypothetical behav- ioral changes associated with the Middle–Upper Paleolithic transition. and Meiklejohn 1979.e. shaped only by context and history (Clark 1999a). this bimodal pattern in burial contexts suggests different land-use strategies rather than a qualitative shift in behavior.. moderns re- . despite a commendable shift in emphasis from typology to technology. If we had thought it trivial we would not have bothered to write the article in the first place. With the exception of Sungir. In addition to Taramsa 1. This pattern continues into the Mesolithic and beyond (Newell. reified. we did not intend to suggest that Mellars (1999) and Zilhao and d’Errico (1999a) have sim˜ ilar views of human origins.’s argument in light of the criteria [RG] brings to bear in this paper” (Gargett 1999: 30).g. We do not doubt the importance of Gargett’s research. and some Late Upper Paleolithic hominids were buried (and some were not). nevertheless. Evolution is directionless. In other words. all the others (19/ 32. some Early Upper Paleolithic hominids were buried (and some were not). and peoples of history). In fact. or 59. Taramsa 1.4%) are located in caves or rock shelters—the same contexts from which claimed Middle Paleolithic burials in those areas are reported. 1998). 1990. most of them (10/13. do not correspond to identity-conscious social units). Gargett also acknowledges the existence of this alleged burial but does not discuss it in detail. typological categories the behavioral significance of which is by no means clear. To us. Constandse-Westermann. Northern Egypt is a good example.000 years ago while acknowledging its arbitrary nature and do not dispute the many conflicting criteria used to define it (see. irrespective of period. Frequency shifts over time are due to the combined effects of better preservation and demographic factors resulting from the compression of human populations into southern European refugia during the pleniglacial maximum (clearly a Late Upper Paleolithic phenomenon). as due to identity-consciousness manifest in social units like the tribes.. they were probably extremely variable in the past. Arguing for vectored changes in particular aspects of adaptation is not the same thing as arguing for “progress” in any global or universal sense. The question is why the incidence of intentional burial apparently increases over time. It isn’t clear to us what d’Errico and Vanhaeren mean by “natural analogies” or “natural interpretations. but because of changes in adaptation to strictly local environments that might have selected for treating dead bodies differently over time.e.g. preferring instead to “leave it up to the reader to scrutinize Vermeersch et al. Kubbaniya) are known from the area (Vermeersch et al. it is by no means clear what they represent behaviorally. we contend that the key to understanding what intentional burial means is precisely whether Middle and Upper Paleolithic hominids had equivalent cognitive abilities.. he dismisses the one case that has the greatest potential to undermine his argument. D’Errico and Vanhaeren misconstrue our interpretation of the frequency data (and our view of evolution) when they claim that we expect progressive changes in the material correlates of social complexity over time. are not demonstrably “cultural” at all (i. all Upper Pleistocene burials in northern Egypt are in the open air.” We acknowledge that modern mortuary practices are extremely variable and add that. For one thing. Aurignacian) as analytical units. Davidson and Noble also point to the contextual dichotomy of Early Upper Paleolithic open-air burial and Middle Paleolithic burial in caves and assert that a single Middle Paleolithic burial in an open-air context “would do more to confirm the hypothesis of Neandertal deliberate burial than any manipulation of currently available (and not very reliable) evidence. in Egypt’s Nile Valley (Vermeersch et al. As originally conceptualized. There is no consensus on this. The divisions of the Paleolithic. While we acknowledge the possibility that our pattern searches might represent “behavioral snapshots” (i. Interestingly. 1984. are useless for exploring cultural variation. bedrock. for the same reasons. Newell et al.e. For Mellars.s a l v a t o r e a n d c l a r k Grave Markers F 471 of their final paragraph and one that squares better with our pattern search would be that some Neandertals were intentionally buried (and some were not). which in turn affected the prevalence of caves and rock shelters in the landscape in the various regions of western Eurasia. undoubtedly occurred over evolutionary time). It is our opinion that “technocomplexes” exhibit little or no time-space discreteness. this applies to all the sites mentioned in Mussi’s table. We used the conventional Middle–Upper Paleolithic boundary at 40. and the biological taxonomic units Neandertals and modern humans are essentialized. However. proportionately more Early Upper Paleolithic open-air burials than Middle Paleolithic ones.

While we acknowledge that our understanding of site formation processes has advanced considerably over the past 30 years and that Gargett is right to be skeptical. it should be noted.000 years ago). typological understanding of pattern variation in the Paleolithic archaeological record. ultimately. He accuses us of stacking the deck in favor of behavioral continuity over the transition by using novel criteria for dividing up time (which. subdividing the Upper Paleolithic into “early” and “late” phases might provide us with a better analytical tool for studying the full range of hominid behavior and morphological variability over the course of the Upper Pleistocene than the conventional bipartite subdivision. Gargett misrepresents the aim of geoarchaeology. which is the careful study of all site formation processes and agents. It is impossible to address any issue or problem in science without making a priori judgments about the variables considered significant to measure. including those associated uniquely with hominids. On the question of fragmentary remains. the meaning assigned to pattern.g. We could turn that accusation around and suggest that Gargett displays only an outdated. is a reference variable used to measure change attributed to other causes) and by selective use of both burial data and criteria designed to support the anticipated outcome of our pattern search. by depicting it as an arbitrary approach that seeks to eliminate human agency altogether.. organic technologies.g. We explicitly state that we give the original excavators’ reports the benefit of the doubt with respect to their capacity to monitor intentionality. cranial bossing. Unequivocal pits are well-documented from Paleolithic contexts (e. naıve or sophisticated. What does that say about fragmentation as a criterion for inferring intentionality? We also dispute Gargett’s contention that we have caricatured his argument. It is this temporal-spatial mosaic that calls into question the relatively abrupt and comprehensive “replacement” scenarios for the appearance of modern humans in western Europe (Straus 1997. the importance of taphonomy in Paleolithic archaeology is seldom adequately recognized. clear-cut features and not something that is easily confounded with the action of natural processes. our entire argument is circumstantial. We were curious to see what pattern would look like if we employed a standardized set of criteria to monitor intentionality in human burial over the Middle and the Early Upper Paleolithic and if we divided up time differently than he does. Gargett’s assertion that “the Upper Paleolithic evidence reveals differences [in burial behavior] that obviate the need for a comparison” (1999:30) between the Middle and the Upper Paleolithic is probably the most unfortunate sentence he has ever written! We can only agree with Hovers and Belfer-Cohen that our construal of pattern over the transition is a complex picture of changing monitors of human adaptation. Number 4. As he points out. For Zilhao ˜ and d’Errico. the methods deemed appropriate to measure them. and even Neolithic in many areas of western Eurasia. given our general endorsement of his approach. We reiterate that we disagree with Gargett’s conclusions (which are the same in the 1989 and 1999 essays) and with some of the criteria he uses to evaluate pattern rather than questioning the appropriateness of examining the question in the first place (see Clark and Lindly 1989b). Gargett seems oblivious to the fact that crucial “bits and pieces” of humans show up in archaeological contexts throughout the Upper Paleolithic. moderns and Neandertals were cognitively equivalent and Neandertals underwent a Middle–Upper Paleolithic transition independent of and earlier than that involving moderns and the Aurignacian. to the extent to which the latter replaced the former it was because of genetic swamping (allowing for admixture and an arguable influx of moderns after 40. Freeman and Gonzalez-Echegaray ´ 1973). However. etc. We do not argue that there are no Early Upper Paleolithic burials as complex as some Late Upper Paleolithic burials or that there are no Early Upper Paleolithic examples of fully developed parietal art. characteristics of the orbits. compounded by a variety-minimizing. However. it is clear that art. and it is no coincidence that burials and art are concen- . Hovers and Belfer-Cohen remark on the evidence for Early Upper Paleolithic parietal art and the number of beads and variety of grave goods at Sungir as Early Upper Paleolithic examples that mirror patterns more common in the Late Upper Paleolithic. and. As ¨ is Gargett’s. then. more reliable chronometric framework for assessing variability in the relevant sites and areas. and burials are much more common when scaled to unit time and space in the Late Upper Paleolithic than in the Early Upper Paleolithic. essentialist view of Upper Pleistocene biological variation.. distal humerus. We are somewhat taken aback by Gargett’s critical reaction to our paper.472 F c u r r e n t a n t h ro p o l o g y Volume 42. ornaments. Clark 1997a). second-guessing people who were fully competent professionals in their era seems to introduce as many problems as it solves. Having excavated about 50 human burials (albeit from recent time frames). But we don’t do that. We simply suggest that. To imply that hominids could have had no role in the preservation of human remains at sites that are defined first and foremost by their presence courts absurdity. It is with some relief. How we go about doing this is what makes our inferences weak or strong. that we turn to Hovers and Belfer-Cohen’s sympathetic comment. We suggest that we know as much about Neandertal sexual dimorphism as we do about sexual dimorphism during the Early Upper Paleolithic and that there are many criteria for determining sex (e. until we have a tighter. Everything in archaeology is more or (usually) less secure inference.) other than gracility and pubic architecture. August–October 2001 placed Neandertals without admixture because they were cognitively (hence technologically) more advanced and therefore able to outcompete Neandertals and displace them from their traditional homelands. and the role of geoarchaeology in contemporary archaeological research can hardly be overemphasized. neither he nor we regard a single criterion in and of itself as sufficient to lead to secure inference. gonial angle. Clark can testify that in many contexts pits are relatively obvious. Mesolithic.

To the best of our knowledge. Qafzeh from 92.g. The intent of the paper was to compare the Middle with the Early Upper Paleolithic rather than with the Upper Paleolithic en bloc. which differs markedly from that of Bordes.g. he appears to think the situation is different for the Levant. It is also possible that what had originated as an essentially utilitarian form of behavior (getting rid of a dead body) might eventually have taken on a symbolic loading. Late patterns likely swamp Early ones and thus give the impression of less continuity than may in fact be the case. The Levantine Mousterian now extends back to ca. radiometric dates and paleoenvironmental data are the only secure foundations upon which to erect any kind of prehistoric chronology. and Cohen 1994. although this possibility lacks any clear-cut test implications. By using the available dates for Skhul and Qafzeh we were not subscribing to what ¯ Krantz calls “established doctrine. While we acknowledge that rockfalls occurred in caves and rock shelters throughout geological time and that they were episodic and occasionally cataclysmic. we certainly were not trying to avoid criticism.s a l v a t o r e a n d c l a r k Grave Markers F 473 trated when and where they are.000 to 119. Mussi advocates dividing the Upper Paleolithic into three stages. Gaudinski and Roebroeks 1999).. the probability is practically nil that the two “events” would ever have coincided. our study does suggest that at least some of the Middle and Early Upper Paleolithic burials are directly comparable. Clark. Regarding rockfalls and fragmented but complete skeletons (Gargett’s “beer cans”). Barton. it is dominated by remains recovered from caves and rock shelters). acknowledged even by staunch advocates of biological replacement (e. Although we used all the data available to us and acknowledged that they almost certainly do not represent the full range of mortuary practices over the relevant time and space intervals. Along with the rest of the profession.) there is no reason to think that the sample we analyzed would be biased in any particular direction (although.000 years ago (Bar-Yosef 1998:47). there are no correlations whatsoever between “kinds” of hominids and “kinds” of archaeological assemblages.000 and 20. On a global scale. the possible effects of mobility on whether people were buried. Our goal was not so much to try to demonstrate that Middle Paleolithic hominids had symbolic behavior as to show that we must be careful to avoid interpretive double standards when dealing with comparable data sets (Roebroeks and Corbey 2000. She claims that we have the chronology of the Italian sites wrong (and in consequence omitted some cases under the mistaken impression that they were late). 1995). 270. Human origins research is not for the faint of heart. Skhul is dated from ¯ 81. however. Bietti (1991) points out that many of the so-called Upper Paleolithic index-fossil tool types occur in varying frequencies outside the prehistoriandefined analytical units to which they are supposedly confined (see also Kuhn and Bietti 2000). and. This theoretical stance is problematic in a number of respects. Their time-space distributions can be explained as the material consequences of the demographic compression that was such a conspicuous feature of the Pleniglacial and Tardiglacial in the west (Barton.000 years ago (Mercier et al. who sees little redemptive value in the paper. For one thing. we will be interested to see evidence for very young dates for Skhul and Qafzeh. we argue. Larsson remarks that if rockfalls were a common cause of death we might expect to find evidence of other cave-dwelling animals with “beer can” signatures. and Cohen 1996) and the relative prevalence of caves in these regions. Bar-Yosef 1998). Clark. evidently giving greater weight to typological criteria for assemblage definition than to hard radiometric evidence. the Italian Upper Paleolithic industries have traditionally been classified according to Laplace’s analytical framework.000 years ago into which most . and sociodemographic factors that might have selected for increasingly frequent burial (hence improved archaeological “visibility”) during the Late Upper Paleolithic. to invoke them to explain complete but crushed human skeletons appears to us to be reaching. including a Mid Upper Paleolithic dated between 30. Having said that. with the implication that if we elect to attribute symbolic loading to all Early Upper Paleolithic inhumations we must also extend this interpretation to comparable Middle Paleolithic burials. short-term versus long-term sites. not all Italian workers adopt a chronotypological approach. Krantz chastises us for covering too large an area and time span and thereby inviting criticism.000 years ago. There is. where. Clearly. Italy also apparently lacks a Solutrean. We tried to take skeletal preservation into account but were often limited by the nature of the published accounts and the lack of a taphonomic focus among many early workers. ¯ and depending on the method used. At the same time.. Marshack raises a number of interesting questions about skeletal evidence for interpersonal violence (better documented in the Mesolithic. unless there is systematic bias due to contextual factors (e. Larsson’s observations regarding the tricky business of inferring subtle differences in cognition are points well taken. Tongue in cheek.” Although he acknowledges archaeological evidence for continuity in adaptation in Europe. caves versus open sites. We do not dispute Hovers and Belfer-Cohen’s claim that even if intentional burial is shown to exist in the Middle Paleolithic this behavior need not have been symbolic or linked to other forms of symbolic behavior (Chase and Dibble 1987).000 to 115. etc. the whole point of the exercise (and an important subtext of the modern- human-origins debate in general) is that documented intentionality in human burial tells us something interesting and important about human cognitive evolution (although clearly it is not the only monitor of cognition). of course. when unambiguous cemeteries show up for the first time). Perhaps our most acerbic critic is Mussi. At present.r i e l . abundant evidence for archaeological continuity in the Levant. given the very sporadic human use of caves and rock shelters throughout prehistory. Second. there is no evidence that hyenas and cave bears were ever killed by rockfalls.

´ a l d h o u s e . s .e. a . since the Late Upper Paleolithic marks the beginning of the last glacial downturn (i. d o d o . s . a n d j . as has a complementary study based on the totality of preMesolithic human interments (Riel-Salvatore 2001). t . p . . We assure Tillier that we are painfully aware of the empirical insufficiencies of our data and of the difficulties in inferring the age and sex of incompletely preserved human remains (see Giles 1970 for a useful summary) but had to proceed on the basis of published accounts. . [lgs] a r r i z a b a l a g a . However. Isolated human remains are the norm throughout the Pleistocene. radiocarbon. it is simply taken for granted that the analytical units and the systematics that underlie them are adequate to address transition questions. Chatelperronian. tools). And there are those (e. the conventional schema is favored by most replacement advocates precisely because of the expectation that the archaeological and the biological transitions should coincide. t . [at] a l l s w o r t h . a n d f . The range of commentary shows that. k . the division we use makes more sense than the one proposed by Mussi. there is no empirical support for a correlation between hominid biological types and archaeological assemblage types. a n d j . h a y d a l . Aurignacian. m i z o g u c h i . v.f .. pri- marily because the interval of interest lies at the limits of the most widely used and reliable radiometric dating method in Europe. 1976. p e t t i t . . if we are to develop a better understanding of this phenomenon. nonetheless contribute to intelligent discourse about key issues of the remote human past. Many workers treat them as if they were objectively “real.” underscoring the difficulties attendant on assigning very young (albeit complete) individuals to biological taxonomic units.” Antiquity 72:756–72. and it is only with the appearance of cemeteries late in the Mesolithic that samples demonstrably representative of the range of variation within a biological population become available (Clark and Neeley 1987). o g u c h i . 1995. typological thinking that dominates most discussion of pattern in biological and cultural variation over the last half of the Upper Pleistocene. y. Paleolithic archaeology is alive and well and that its practitioners. despite diverse theoretical perspectives.000 years ago. The Szeletian. y. 1986. In the years since its discovery in 1953. [lgs] b a c h e c h i . A plurality of perspectives is essential to the development of the discipline as a rigorous scientific endeavor capable of generating new knowledge about the human career. since practically all publications by replacement advocates use the more conventional Middle–Upper Paleolithic division at ca. We hope to have shown here that.g r e e n . 117 for a useful summary). Mussi) who put more faith in typology than in absolute dates. a l t u n a . m u h e s e n . August–October 2001 of our Early Upper Paleolithic cases would fall. Uncertainties about dating have always figured prominently in transition research. Munibe 52. n i s h i a k i . References Cited a k a z a w a . the phylogenetic status of the Staroselye child (an infant of 18–19 months) has been much debated (see Marks et al.474 F c u r r e n t a n t h ro p o l o g y Volume 42.” intrinsically meaningful. we have no way to determine whether workers in different research traditions are defining and using these analytical units in the same ways or to justify them as behaviorally meaningful (i. In default of a concern with ¨ epistemology (notably lacking in this type of research). a n d p .e. We acknowledge the probable error. 1998. While it is clearly a good idea to divide the Upper Paleolithic into more meaningful units.. . Journal of Human Evolution 5:413–21. 40... s . f a b r i . 1987. We strongly suspect that they are not (Clark 1997a). it has paleoclimatic correlates that were likely to have affected human behavior throughout western Eurasia). We suggest that this is rather naıve. Uluzzian. They have this preconception about pattern because one population (moderns making Aurignacian tools) is thought to be replacing another one (Neandertals making Mousterian and/or Chatelperronˆ ian. k o n d o . In particular. o h t a . Paviland Cave: Contextualizing the “Red Lady. [mm] a l e k s e e v. in regard to the Staroselye child (Marks et al. o . etc. Number 4. p . y. Neandertal) have become ˆ “naturalized” and so are seldom subjected to critical scrutiny. p . Biology and culture can and do vary independently of one another. It is interesting that it has changed in concert with prevailing views of what constitutes a “modern human. In our view. In other words. as appropriate for addressing transition questions). No basis for this subdivision is offered. the basic analytical units (e. Labeko Koba (Paıs Vasco): Hienas y humanos en los albores del Paleolıtico ´ ´ superior. An . m a l l e g n i . Whether Paleolithic humans buried their dead has been debated for well over a century and will doubtless continue to be debated for the foreseeable future..g. with the implication that the systematics used to generate them are themselves unproblematic. there is little we can add to Straus’s remarks except that we must find a way to break the confines of the normative. it is imperative that we look at Upper Pleistocene burial as a process and try to place it in the context of the changing regional adaptations of which it was once a part. Paleorient 21–22:77–86. and how data should be analyzed. Oxford: Clarendon. intellectually.j o n e s . 2000. y. Since we agree with him. as mentioned above. Neanderthal infant burial from the Dederiyeh Cave in Syria. Our research casts doubt on the utility of conventional chronotypological conceptual frameworks as organizing devices. biases. 1997:116. and preconceptions that underlie the logic of inference in the various intellectual traditions involved in the research must also be subjected to critical scrutiny if we are to avoid the miscommunication that often results when workers differ among themselves with respect to what constitutes data.g. a b e . Position of the Staroselye find in the hominid system. The assumptions. and unproblematic. also noted by Straus. 1997). That our subdivision has “long been standard among both archaeologists and physical anthropologists” is news to us. what questions are important to ask of data.

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