The Prehistoric Society

Neolithic Studies Group: Neolithic bodies

Thanks to recent theoretical, methodological and analytical developments in archaeology and more broadly in the humanities and life sciences, it is an exciting time for body-centred research. The Neolithic and the transition to farming have provided a particularly rich array of research, and the evidence drawn on is equally diverse. The human skeleton is, of course, the most recognisable source of evidence, as well as the burial context more widely. However, more recently material culture, architecture, and laboratory techniques such as isotope analysis have been variously drawn upon to investigate Neolithic bodies.

The objective of this meeting will be to discuss recent investigations of the body in the Neolithic and to compare the conclusions drawn from different types of archaeological evidence. Papers on all aspects of research pertaining to the body in the context of the Neolithic are welcome; including, but not limited to, health, disease, and demography, occurrences and rates of inter-personal violence, conceptions of personhood, gender and sex, figurative depictions and representations of the body in material culture, and the varied embodied identities produced and maintained through the mortuary sphere.