di domenica 8 dicembre 2019
Archaeological excavations at G÷bekli Tepe, a transitional Neolithic site in southeast Turkey, have revealed the earliestmegalithic ritual architecture with characteristic T-shaped pillars. Although human burials are still absent from thesite, a number of fragmented human bones have been recovered from fill deposits of buildings and from ad- jacent areas. We focus on three partially preserved human skulls, all of which carry artificial modifications of atype so far unknown from contemporaneous sites and the ethnographic record. As such, modified skull fragmentsfrom G÷bekli Tepe could indicate a new, previously undocumented variation of skull cult in the Early Neolithic of Anatolia and the Levant
di Julia Gresky, Juliane Haelm, Lee Clare

Human skulls can be venerated for various reasons, ranging from an-cestor worship to the belief in the transmission of protective or otherproperties from the deceased to the living ( 1 ). This focus on the hu-man skull, including its special treatment, led to the establishment of the term skull cult in the anthropological literature [for example,Cauvin ( 2 ), Bienert ( 3 ), and Wahl ( 4 )]. Skull cult can take on differentforms, that is, with skull modifications frequently underlying very spe-cific cultural codes. In the Pre-Pottery Neolithic (PPN; 9600 – 7000calBC) of Southeast Anatolia and the Levant, there is an abundanceof archaeological evidence for the special status assigned to the humanskull: In addition to the deposition of skulls in special places, as at-tested by the “ skull depot ” at Tell Qaramel ( 5 ) or the “ skull building ” at Çayönü ( 6 ), human skulls are also known to have been decorated,for example, where the soft tissue and facial features have been remod-eled in plaster [such as, Goren et al . ( 7 ) and Rollefson ( 8 )] and/or colorwas applied to  [...]

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