Friday 21 September 2012

Questioning Middle Palaeolithic Burial is NOT Like Beating a Dead Horse: Science's Michael Balter Writes About Neanderthal Burial As If It's an Open Question. More Power to Him!

For one of the very few times in my role as the leading subversive archaeologist on the internet I can say that every anthropologist needs to see this article. The subject goes to the heart of the 'debate' [more like a never-ending disagreement] as to whether or not the Neanderthals, their Mousterian contemporaries, and their antecedents had what you and I would recognize as the equivalent of the symbolic behaviour that is the hallmark of us modern humans.
     I am very pleased to point the interested readers of the Subversive Archaeologist to the Michael Balter article in Science to which I alluded in a blurt a few days ago. Kudos to my friends Harold Dibble and Alain Turq [and the whole équipe] for their courage in opening new excavations at the mega-important Middle Palaeolithic site of La Ferrassie (Dordogne, France). And a rousing 'Huzzah!' for Michael Balter for featuring this *cough* ground-breaking work in Science, and for having the good sense to interview me for the piece.
     While you're reading, remember that whenever Alain Turq says that articulated skeletons MUST have been purposefully buried, remember Rule #1 and what I've said previously about how wrong-headed the notion is.
     So, without further ado: Ta-Da!
     'Did Neandertals Truly Bury Their Dead?' by Michael Balter.

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