Publication details

Puzzling Pairs from Pavlov and Mortuary Diversity in the Mid Upper Paleolithic



Year of publication 2018
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Přehled výzkumů
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords Upper Paleolithic; Taphonomy; Pedal; Manual; Moravia; Postcranial; Czech Republic
Description Taphonomic, paleopathological, and paleodemographic analyses of human remains from the Mid Upper Paleolithic of western Eurasia are increasingly documenting a diversity of mortuary behaviors among these successful Late Pleistocene foragers. These considerations are joined by three associated pairs of otherwise isolated appendicular remains from the site of Pavlov I (the Pavlov 31 partial hands and the Pavlov 37 and 38 tarsometatarsal skeletons), previously described morphologically but not assessed in terms of their taphonomy. They are described here with respect to their contexts and patterns of preservation to assess possible taphonomic and/or mortuary implications of these sets of antimeres. Subchondral articular bone that is free of carbonate encrustation on at least the Pavlov 37 pedal remains suggests some degree of articulation in situ. Although root etched, the elements lack carnivore or other vertebrate damage, as well as cut marks. Even though associated unilateral hand or foot remains are unexceptional among the fur-bearing faunal remains, the bilateral presence of these human remains raises questions concerning the taphonomic and behavioral/ mortuary processes responsible for their preservation: do they represent portions of abandoned human bodies, remains of naturally disturbed burials, extremities left from secondary burials, and/or intentionally manipulated human body portions? Any combination of these processes expands current perceptions of the mortuary diversity among these early modern humans.
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