At the CRUMBEL conference last week in Brussels I not only had the honour of delivering the keynote talk on The Cremation SensationI had the benefit of listening to two days of the latest research on the archaeology of cremation.

Before the conference, I had promised Dr Christie Willis that I might attempt to apply my new-found Viking doodling talents, inspired by long dull meetings, to prehistoric cremation practices. Following her fascinating paper on the prevalence and diversity of middle and late Neolithic cremation practices, I rapidly sketched and tweeted a speculative impression of a Neolithic cremation ceremony.

The result tells us little about the past, but much about my pitiful artistic skills and my ignorance regarding the Neolithic. Still, I think my attempt to show a pyre, a gathering of people and animals, some crazy retro Mesolithic headgear, and some timber monumentality, together afford a faint aroma of what a Neolithic open-air death ritual might have been like!