Contrary to omnipresent belief, a weight of human remains from cremation burials of the Przeworsk culture is far lower than their total weight. It comprises only I per cent in pit burials and c. 1/3 - 1/4 in urn burials. This fact has been noticed by some the most inquisitive scholars of the Roman Iron Age. At the same time, the cremation burial rite has been defined in a far too simplistic way as undertaken shortly after the death. In practice, however, as proved by studies of J. Metzler, this process may have been extended over a considerable time span and was of a complex character. This author argues that the four classical elements (earth, water, air, and fire) played a significant role in the burial rite. Remains of major elements of the skeleton (skull, spine and legs) were set to be buried in the grave. In case of the Przeworsk culture, only skull fragments were obligatorily buried. The very burial rituals may have been comp!ex and long-lasting.
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