Traditionally, distinct political ranks in European prehistory have been identified through the differential treatment of individual burials. However, the connection between burial treatment and status is rarely so direct. Inequality may be evident through differential life chances, kinship, ritual or ancestorhood rather than through political command, wealth or identity. With this in mind, the EU-funded ANCESTORS project aims to test alternative models of prehistoric inequality and deathways. It will study social relations in life using osteobiography and explore deathways using funerary taphonomy. Combining the two methodologies will make it possible to connect ancient lives and deaths. The project’s results will provide insight into the ways that inequality affected lives in prehistoric Europe and the role that ancestors played in it.
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