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H 290 x W 205 mm

206 pages

54 figures

Published Mar 2024

Archaeopress Archaeology


Paperback: 9781803277219

Digital: 9781803277226

DOI 10.32028/9781803277219

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European prehistory; human body; body shaping; figurative art; burial rite; behavioral patterns; social control

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Archaeology of Body and Thought

From the Neolithic to the Beginning of the Middle Ages

By Tomasz Gralak

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This study explores what we as people can do with our bodies, what we can use them for, and how we can alter and understand them. With analysis based on artefacts found in graves, anthropomorphic images, and written sources, it considers the ways in which human groups from the Neolithic to the Migration Period have perceived and treated the body.



Chapter I: Introduction

Chapter II: The Neolithic. Bodies of First Farmers

Chapter III: The Chalcolithic. The Dark Side of the Sun – Warriors

Chapter IV: The Únětice Culture. Bone Collectors

Chapter V: Man of Bronze. The Period of Tumulus Cultures’ Domination

Chapter VI: Figurative Representations and Perception of Corporality in Minoan and Mycenaean Traditions

Chapter VII: Burnt by the Sun. The Lusatian Culture and Cremation

Chapter VIII: The People of Rock Carvings. The Nordic Bronze Age

Chapter IX: The Decline of the Bronze Age and the Onset of the Iron Age

Chapter X: Pomeranian Canopic Jars

Chapter XI: People on the Steppes. Creators of the Saka-Scythian Animal Style

Chapter XII: Head Hunters. The Celts of the La Tène Culture

Chapter XIII: Bodies of the Barbarians

Chapter XIV: Migration Period. Bodies and Souls in Turmoil

Chapter XV: Epilogue. Slavs and the Myth of Vampire

Chapter XVI: Conclusion


About the Author

Tomasz Gralak received his doctorate from the University of Wrocław in 2003 and habilitated in 2017. Since 1997, he has worked with the Rescue Excavations Team at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences (Wrocław department). He has participated in rescue excavations and conducted fieldwork at many archaeological sites in southwestern Poland, resulting in several reports and articles. Since 2008, Tomasz Gralak has been employed as an assistant professor at the Institute of Archaeology of the University of Wrocław. His principal interests focus on the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age and questions of prehistoric metrology, architecture, and art. He has completed internships and scholarships in Scandinavia, Central/Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Greece, Turkey, Russia, and Vietnam. He is the author of over 90 scientific publications.