The ‘Invisible Dead’ in the Levant

Some of the projects out there involving human remains (though myself am not quite in favour of the relationship btw their research aims and methods, namely to “chart the changing concepts of what it meant and means to be human and the ways in which this can be interpreted through the archaeological record”- a very nice objective- through building a database of osteological material…)

The Invisible Dead

The ‘Invisible Dead’ Project is almost into month ten of research and with another three months of data collection to go there are still a lot of sites and ‘Invisible Dead’ to be recorded.  However, after months of hard work it is about time to share some information on our current progress.

For the Levant, we have recorded c.12,000 individuals from over 500 sites dating from the Neolithic to the Roman period (c.10,000 BC – AD 400).  By the end of the project we hope to have basic database records listing information such as the minimum number of individuals (MNI), age/sex of individuals and data on the different types of material culture found in burial contexts (e.g. beads, bowls, jars, pins etc.).  This information is being entered for EVERY site with human skeletal material in the Levant, whether it is interpreted as a cemetery, formal burial site or a rubbish…

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