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Mesolithic Funerary Archaeology


Module leader: Stephanie Piper


This module will investigate Mesolithic Funerary archaeology. It will examine the claim for the first cemeteries in Europe, consider the broad range of practices such as inhumation, secondary burial, cremation, and skull nests. We will also discuss variation in grave goods and the ways in which this collective evidence might provide insights into social relationships and belief systems, including animism and shamanism.


  • To critically examine the evidence for burial practices in the Mesolithic and how these are interpreted
  • To develop research, analytical and presentational skills


  • Understand the different ways in which the dead were treated in Mesolithic Europe, and the potential belief systems such as shamanism
  • Critically evaluate the evidence for the emergence of cemeteries
  • Develop writing skills through assessed essays and present their research through seminar presentations, both in groups and as individuals
  • Present their research through seminar presentations
  • Undertake evidence-based interpretation of relevant case studies