Requiem: The Medieval Monastic Cemetery in Britain [Paperback]

Roberta Gilchrist (Author); Barney Sloane (Author)

£29.95
OR
ISBN: 9781901992595 | Published by: MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) | Year of Publication: 2005 | Language: English 273p, H297 x W210 (mm) 155 illus, mainly col, 23 tabs




Requiem

Details

This volume challenges previous assumptions about medieval burial through comprehensive study of excavated monastic cemeteries. Some 8000 graves are analysed from more than 70 cemeteries in England, Wales and Scotland, focusing principally on medieval religious houses (c.1050-c.1600) with comparative evidence from cathedrals, parish churches and Jewish cemeteries. The book is complemented by a fully accessible, web-mounted database archived with the Archaeology Data Service. The study offers an innovative reassessment based on a multidisciplinary framework: medieval visual and written sources are used to identify the distinct temporal and spatial contexts of medieval death. This approach emphasises the sequential nature of medieval death; from the preparation of the body, through to the construction of the grave, and the performance of commemorative rites after the burial. By highlighting the sequence of events, this volume places new emphasis on the significance of social identity, the agency of mourners, and the role of the family and community in medieval burial rituals. This close empirical study prompts greater attention to the recording and analysis of coffin and grave fills, and stimulates consideration of burial as a form of popular religious practice. For the first time it has been possible to explore medieval burial as a demonstration of private and communal belief that was expressed both diversely and intimately.

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