Les animaux dans les rites funéraires au deuxième âge du fer en Gaule septentrionale

Patrice MÉNIEL

fr Anthropozoologica 35 - Pages 3-16

Published on 01 July 2002

Animals in funerary rites in iron age II in Northern Gaule

In Gaul, human remains are discovered in burial grounds, habitation sites, sanctuaries, and also in isolated locations, providing witness to a wide diversity of burial rites. Animal remains are often also involved in these rites. In burial grounds, from inhumations but also involved in these rites. In burial grounds, from inhumations but also cremations, animal remains seem to essentially represent food offerings, but domestic household animals are also sometimes found, as are trophies and the remains of butchered sacrificial animals. In the Ancient and Middle La Tène periods (from 450 to 130 BC) humans and animals, above all horses, are buried in pits and silos, sometimes in succession. Various treatments are regularly attested on the skeletons of one or the other, humans or animals, including the removal of skulls. This wide diversity of treatments is without doubt associated with the social rank of the deceased (ranging from slaves to aristocracy) or with their origin (for example, whether they are fromwithin the community, or from outside). There is a rich array of meanings of the placement of these animals in funerary contexts, particularly relating to social status and the human uses of animals.


Funerary rites, Gaule, Iron Age, food offerings, domestic animals, horse, dog, pig, chicken.

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