Engaging with the Dead: Exploring Changing Human Beliefs about Death, Mortality and the Human Body [Hardback]

Jennie Bradbury (Editor); Chris Scarre (Editor)

ISBN: 9781785706639 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Series: Studies in Funerary Archaeology | Volume: 13 | Year of Publication: 2017 | Language: English 288p, H280 x W220 (mm) b/w and colour

Engaging with the Dead


Engaging with the Dead adopts a cross-disciplinary, archaeologically focused, approach to explore a variety of themes linked to the interpretation of mortuary traditions, death and the ways of disposing of the dead. Nineteen papers highlight the current vitality of ‘death studies’ and the potential of future research and discoveries. Contributors explore changing beliefs and practices over time, considering how modern archaeology, ethnography and historical records can aid our interpretations of the past, as well as considering how past practices may have influenced understandings of death and dying within the modern world. It is clear that there are very significant variations in the quantity of dead that appear in the archaeological record over time, and the contributions to this volume attempt to understand why that might be the case.  
By bringing together papers from a variety of specialists working within Europe and the Near East, we investigate the pivotal role of death studies in the 21st century, providing a case for the retention of human remains in archaeological collections. Engaging with the Dead aims to set period specific contributions within a broader perspective and integrates papers from bioarchaeologists, theologists, textual specialists, as well as archaeologists. It provides an in-depth introduction to the multitude of ways in which the mortuary record can be interrogated and interpreted and explores the role of archaeology and theology within contemporary social studies.
This volume challenges our current understanding and conceptualisation of mortuary practices in the ancient and contemporary world.

Table of Contents

1.  Introduction: Engaging with the dead
 Jennie Bradbury and Chris Scarre  
2.  Tracking the dead in the Neolithic: the ‘Invisible Dead’ in Britain
 Mandy Jay & Chris Scarre
3.  Mind the gap ... what did Late Bronze Age people do with their dead?: Evidence from Cliffs End, Kent
 Jacqueline McKinley
4.  Death in the countryside: New light on Romano-British rural burial practice
 Alex Smith
5.  Iron Age Mortuary Variability in the Southern Levant
 David Ilan
6.  Taphonomic agents as the source of bias in osteological research in the Near East Arkadiusz Sołtysiak & Rafał Fetner
7.  Protracted burial practices and the beginning of cremation in the ancient Near East: two independent phenomena?
 Candida Felli
8.  Shifting identities: mortuary practices, human belief and society in the Levantine Bronze Age
 Jennie Bradbury & Graham Philip
9.  Looking Forward to Look Back: How Investigations of Historical Burial Populations can Inform our Interpretations of Prehistoric Burial Practice
 Amanda Murphy & Andrew Chamberlain
10.  Developing and implementing big picture approaches in bioarchaeology: opportunities and challenges
 Charlotte Roberts
11.  Dead and (un)buried: reconstructing attitudes to death in long-term perspective
 Mike Parker-Pearson
12.  Reanimating the Dead: The circulation of human bone in the British Later Bronze Age
 Joanna Brück
13.  Remembering the “ancient” dead: long-term funerary processes at two royal burial places at Qatna, Syria
 Peter Pfläzner
14.  The visible dead: ethnographic perspectives on the curation, display and circulation of human remains in Iron Age Britain
 Ian Armit
15.  The Distribution of Graves and the Food within – the Evidence from 2nd Millennium B.C.E. Mari, Syria
 Sarah Lange
16.  Variations on a Tomb: The Umm el-Marra Mortuary Complex in the Context of Elite Burial Ritual in 3rd Millennium Western Syria
 Sarah Yukich
17.  Continuing bonds past and present: A reinterpretation of Southwest Asia’s Neolithic mortuary practices in light of contemporary theories of bereavement
 Karina Croucher
18.  Conceptualising the Dead Body: The image of the corpse in modern burial reform
 Julie Rugg
19.  Conclusion: Beyond the Invisible Dead
 Jennie Bradbury & Chris Scarre
Short Biography

Additional Information

Edition No. No
Orca PG N/A

Product Tags

Use spaces to separate tags. Use single quotes (') for phrases.