Transitional rites in the stone age based on data relating to physical anthropology
Автор: Mednikova M.B., Moiseyev V.G., Khartanovich V.I.
Статья в выпуске: 237, 2015 года.
Physical anthropology, employing modern radiological methods, is able to ехtend our ideas of the ritual practices used in primitive society. The spread of symbolic and actual trepanations underlines complex spiritual life of that period. Symbolic trepanation performed in the Upper Palaeolithic Telman camp points to ancient initiation rites. Previously an operation on a scalp from the Mesolithic cemetery Vasilyevka III was regarded as the earliest example of such intervention. materials from the mesolithic period with traces of such operations were examined using microfocal radiography The materials are preserved in the Russian Academy of Sciences' Kunstkammer. It was established that the operations had been carried out on individuals while still alive. Apart from the trepanned skull from Vasilyevka, a female skeleton from the Murzak-Koba in the Crimea was also examined. Prior to that D. G. Rokhlin had revealed the impact of the amputation of the little fingers from both hands of a woman shortly before death. Microfocal radiography has identified lateral atrophy of the diaphysis of the amputated phalanges, which meant that a good deal of time had elapsed since the moment of the operation before death close attention was paid to superficial damage on the left temple bone The burial in Murzak-Koba has confirmed the existence of two categories of indelible signs obtained well before death during adolescence Possibly, these events took place at different times and were linked with different rites (initiation or marriage). What would point to this is the blatant nature of the conspicuous damage to the hands and the ‘secret' sign on the head covered by hair - namely, symbolic trepanation.
Stone age, palaeolithic, mesolithic, body manipulations, trepanations, finger amputations, microfocal radiography, initiation rites
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