This paper, "Scapulae and phalanges as grave goods: a mystery from the Early Bronze Age" Kysely et al, 2020, speculates on another magic practice widespread in Europe into historic times, but here focused on EBA Central Europe, that is the likelihood of some sort of scapulimancy and astragalomancy in Unetic graves.
|Trinovantes by Peter Froste.|
Unfortunately this is ppv, so I won't dwell on this topic unless I get a copy. But maybe what we see in other regions, and as the authors suggest here, is that the selection of cuts appear prescriptive instead of a general offering or practical equipment. Certain parts and certain animals.
Maybe Ava had this done in her grave as well.
Based on a study of animal bone finds from the Únětice Culture cemeteries (2200–1700 BC) in Bohemia, Czech Republic, the study analyses selected aspects of the funeral rite in the Early Bronze Age in Central Europe. The focus is on unworked and unburned cattle, pig, sheep/goat and red deer scapulae, phalanges (+ some astragali) and ribs—significant burial phenomena in the Únětice Culture—determined as undoubtedly intentional components of funerals, that is, as grave goods. Radiocarbon and other evidence show that the phenomena existed for the whole of the Únětice Culture and perhaps longer. The presence of scapulae in 41% of the graves in the cemetery at Mikulovice and tens of other cemeteries in Bohemia and Moravia, and the complete domination of phalanges among the animal bones in graves in the funerary area at Vliněves provide evidence of the importance of these customs in the funerary rite. Rib cuts certainly represent meat offerings but the meaning of isolated (unarticulated) scapulae and phalanges/astragali is difficult to determine. The hypothesis that scapulae found always singly could also be real meat offerings is difficult to accept, so further roles, whether practical or symbolic, should be considered. An earlier suggestion that scapulae were used as a trowel for digging grave pits is highly improbable, as follows from our analysis, and we were unable to confirm the use of the flat scapula as a plate for other offerings or a base for paintings. The choice of the (near-triangular) scapula to symbolise the triangle must be left in the realm of speculation. Unworked and variably positioned phalanges and astragali are unlikely to have been used for clothing or hair decoration but, based on analogies, might have been used in magic or games (amulets, tokens, dice, game pieces). The possible use of scapulae and phalanges + astragali in divination is considered in the light of ethnographic and historical records of scapulimancy and astragalomancy on four continents. As scapulae and phalanges do not usually appear together in a single grave, they could represent attributes of different social groups or statuses.