EAA 2021 Kiel

8. – 11. September 2021
Human Bone and Tooth Artefacts in Hunter-Gatherer Contexts – Case Studies, Analyses, Interpretations and Theories

Session at the Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA)
Kiel, Germany

Excavations at prehistoric sites in Europe and elsewhere have revealed a rare but interesting phenomenon where human bones or teeth have been modified into artefacts and used as pendants, tools, or weapons. In this session we focus on these practices, with the aim to investigate their distribution, variety, and significance. The scope will be prehistoric and historic hunter-gatherer, pastoral and early farming groups from anywhere in the world and any chronological periods. We call for papers focusing on case studies with contextual and analytical descriptions of the finds, including manufacture and functional analyses and reconstructing object biographies. We would also wish to hear theoretical papers discussing the significance of such practices, for example, how these artefacts may reflect human-environment relationships (for example, similar type of artefacts made of human and other mammal bones), or, how they potentially reflect attitudes towards human remains and the dead. In order to approach these topics thoroughly we warmly welcome colleagues from all disciplines, for example archaeology, anthropology, ethnography, and natural history.

Human bone artefacts, Meanings of ornaments, Hunter-gatherers, Human-environment relationships, Ethnography, Object biographies

The goal of the session is to introduce archaeological artefacts made of human bone in hunter-gatherer and pastoral contexts and discuss how to interpret these finds. We would like to hear multidisciplinary papers, introducing both archaeological and ethnographic materials and theoretical discussions around them.

Information about other sessions and the conference can be found at the EAA conference website.

Kristiina Mannermaa (Finland), Amy Gray Jones (United Kingdom), Anna Malyutina (Russia).