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Social Relationships in Predynastic Burials

Abstract

Of all Ancient Egyptian eras, it has been the Predynastic (primarily the fourth millennium BC) that has received the greatest attention from anthropologically derived models of mortuary behaviour. Following an overview of developments in mortuary archaeology, this article aims to contribute to the discussion of alternative social models of Predynastic mortuary remains. In particular, it aims to challenge the overriding assumption that burial form and content is a reflection or correlate of individual status or identity, or that it simply forms an index for social ranking. Rather, it is argued that these contexts may additionally reveal aspects of the relationships between people, objects, and places. In doing so, it is possible to consider some of the ideological aspects of Predynastic burials in addition to the social-economic aspects that are more often discussed

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