Early Neolithic funerary diversity and mitochondrial variability of two Iberian sites
An analysis of the burial characteristics of the individuals recovered from two Early Neolithic sites in Navarre (Los Cascajos and Paternanbidea), in the Spanish Basque Country, revealed a complex funerary ritual. The individuals recovered from the Paternanbidea site were distributed in three double graves and a multiple one, while the individuals from Los Cascajos were buried in individual pit-shaped tombs; furthermore, the tombs had a variety of cultural and funerary features. The aim of this study is to evaluate the burial ritual by means of mitochondrial DNA data and the funerary characteristics of 36 individuals recovered from these two sites. The results show that the diversity of these Early Neolithic burial practices from the northern Iberian Peninsula cannot be explained by means of maternal kinship relationships.