Museum of the Origins of Man




ORIGIN OF PALEOLITHIC FUNERARY ARCHITECTURE






Fig. 25,1) Burial pit of a very young neanderthalian, lower Mousterian (middle Paleolithic), at the site of Combe-Grenal (Dordogne, France). We can see the three stones that were placed on the small corpse.
Paleolithic funeral architecture is littlke known. However, from the moment when the internment of  dead person in sleep position initiated, the verified phases are:

1°) the hole in the ground.
2°) the hole in the ground covered with stone slabs.
3°) the hole in the ground, with small burial environment like square or rectangular-shaped box , and this is what at the moment we can verify in the upper Paleolithic.
In the post-paleolithic ages, beyond the interment in the ground, an architecture over the ground begins. The first gravels of this type are the dolmen.
The funeral architecture becomes  enormously 
rich everywhere, with the contribution of the techniques of working used for the lithic sculpture.
The funeral architecture will be rupestrian, that is carved in the rock, with squared monoliths as in the construction of the pyramids; instead, in the forestal regions the wood was
used





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