Bioarchaeology of the Near East, 14:61-92 (2020)
Cremation in Southern Levant and Lebanon: Review of literature
Interdisciplinary Doctoral School,
Faculty of Archaeology, University of Warsaw,
Krakowskie Przedmieście 26/28, 00-927 Warsaw, Poland
Abstract: The ancient Southern Levant and Lebanon are not usually considered regions in
which cremation burial rites were practiced. Following a comprehensive literature review,
it has become clear that examples of cremations are known from at least eighty archaeological
sites in the region dating from the Epipaleolithic until the Byzantine Period. A large
proportion of cremation burials have been discovered in the Southern Levant in urns and
most of them date to the Iron Age. In addition, many cremation burials have been deposited
in close proximity to pyres located inside caves, all dating to the Early Bronze Age.
In all periods when cremation was relatively popular, all categories of the dead (males,
females and subadults) were cremated. Children were usually buried together with adult
individuals. The aim of the article is to present a catalogue of sites where cremated remains
have been discovered in the Southern Levant and Lebanon.
Key words: burial practice; Israel; Jordan; Palestine; urn burial; cave burial
Received 4 November 2018; accepted 8 July 2021; published online 11 July 2021.
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