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    Shanidar et ses fleurs? Reflections on the palynology of the Neanderthal ‘Flower Burial’ hypothesis

    Hunt, C.O. and Pomeroy, E. and Reynolds, Tim and Tilby, E. and Barker, G. (2023) Shanidar et ses fleurs? Reflections on the palynology of the Neanderthal ‘Flower Burial’ hypothesis. Journal of Archaeological Science 159 , ISSN 0305-4403.

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    Pollen clumps associated with the skeleton of the Shanidar 4 Neanderthal were interpreted by the excavator as evidence for a purposeful burial with flowers. This was one of several findings from Shanidar Cave that helped to shape modern perceptions of Neanderthals as sharing empathic characteristics with archaic Homo sapiens (modern humans). Here the available evidence is reviewed critically from a palynological viewpoint. It seems likely that at least some of the pollen clumps were emplaced by nesting solitary bees, though other mechanisms may also have been involved. Shanidar 4 remains of notable importance, however, in being part of a tight cluster of remarkably complete and deliberately emplaced Neanderthal skeletal remains.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Neanderthals, Bees, Burial, Flowers, Insect Nests, Caves, Mortuary Behaviour
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Depositing User: Tim Reynolds
    Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2023 15:08
    Last Modified: 26 Oct 2023 04:55


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