Animating the Dead: Bronze Age Burial Practices in Orkney [Hardback]

Jane Downes (Editor)

Regular Price: £40.00

Special Price: £32.00

ISBN: 9781789255584 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Publication: January 2022 | Language: English 416p, H280 x W220 (mm) colour and b/w
Status: Not yet published - advance orders taken

Animating the Dead


This book brings together the results of the Orkney Barrows Project, initiated and directed by Jane Downes and funded by Historic Environment Scotland. The barrows sites detailed and discussed in the volume are Linga Fiold, a barrow cemetery in West Mainland which was comprehensively excavated and which provides extraordinary evidence of pyre sites and cremation practices; Gitterpitten, a barrow cemetery in Rendall of which three barrows were excavated partially, and Varme Dale also in Rendall of which two barrows were excavated – these sites both produced a range of cremation deposits, Vestra Fiold, Sandwick barrow site which was surveyed and excavated to a limited extent is also reported upon. Eight Bronze Age cist burials excavated under ‘rescue’ conditions by a range of other individuals are also included within this volume.

The evidence is also used to compare and contrast the rites and practices of cremation and inhumation. Discussion of chronology and typology of the burials is placed in the context of the other burial evidence from Orkney, and the other aspects of Bronze Age represented by settlement, burnt mounds etc. As such the book will form an update to M Hedges’ contribution ‘The Second Millennium and After’ in ed. C Renfrew Prehistory of Orkney (1985). The significance of the findings will also be placed in the wider Scottish/UK/N Europe context.

The Bronze Age of Orkney is a poorly understood topic with little written on it; the book will make a significant contribution to this area.

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