The Origins of Cremation in Europe

Obrazek miniatury
Gil-Drozd, Agnieszka
Tytuł czasopisma
Tytuł tomu
Fundacja Rzeszowskiego Ośrodka Archeologicznego
Institute of Archaeology Rzeszów University
The issue of the origin of cremation is a very interesting and complex problem. The primary question is, why did people begin burning their dead, but also where and when did the first cremation burials appear? This article discusses the state of research into the causes of the emergence of cremation and shows the finds of the oldest known cremation burials in Europe. The source material presented demonstrates that the oldest, irregular forms of cremation rites occurred as early as in the Mesolithic, both in North-West and Southern Europe. In the Early Neolithic period, we can observe the evolution and stabilisation of the cremation funerary rite, which is visible in biritual cemeteries in the area of West and Central Europe. This situation leads to the conclusion that the tradition of cremation was developing independently in two distinct parts of the continent – in the north-west as well as in the south, and that cremation burials are not merely an exception in the Neolithic funerary rite.
Słowa kluczowe
Funerary rite , origin of cremation , cremation burial , biritual cemetery , Mesolithic , Early Neolithic
Ana­lecta Archa­eolo­gica Res­so­viensia, vol. 5 (2010), s. 9–94