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Durham University

Department of Archaeology

Research Postgraduates

Publication details for Professor Paul Pettitt

Pettitt, Paul & Anderson, James R. (2020). Primate thanatology and hominoid mortuary archeology. Primates 61(1): 9-19.

Author(s) from Durham


In recent years, a thanatology of primates has become a respectable research topic, and although still sparse, observations among several taxa have shown how complex responses to the dead can be. In human evolutionary archeology, re-analysis of old ‘burial’ sites is slowly revising our view on the development of specifically human responses to the dead. We propose here the means of integrating information from the two disciplines of primatology and archeology, in support of the field of primate thanatology. We propose a terminology and a shared set of research questions, from which we generate a number of observations that can be utilized in the field, in order to establish a working dialogue and foster greater collaboration across the two disciplines.