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Mutual becomings in life and death: human and non-human animals in the Mesolithic Danube Gorges

Živaljević, Ivana

The post-Cartesian ‘Animal Turn’ marked a shift from anthropocentric attitudes to non-human animals as economic or symbolic resources to be exploited, to new understanding of interspecies relations as mutually impactful and inherently social. Borrowing heavily from ethology and relational ontologies, these approaches bear important implications for studies of prehistory and cultural contexts where hunting and fishing afforded particular forms of interspecies interaction. In this paper, I focus on disintegrated and reassembled human and animal bodies in the context of Mesolithic Danube Gorges, and insights they offer into new kinds of entities emerging post-mortem. However, even if death remains materialized and consequently more visible in the archaeological record, it is far from being the only event in human and non-human histories of engagement. The paper therefore considers not only structurally deposited animal remains, but also living animals as subjects and agents in shaping worlds populated by a multitude of beings. 

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