The Archaeology of Death

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Evidence for the disposal of the dead is one of the most common classes of archaeological data; in both prehistoric and historic contexts, archaeologists have long used the remains of death and burial as a source for interpretations of society, culture and ethnic identity. This volume, bringing together studies on the disposal of the dead, explores the frontiers and potential of research and presents critical appraisals of theory about social organisation and culture change. It contains case studies from both North America and Europe and themes include the complex social factors behind burial in monuments and cemeteries, the relationship between status, diet, disease and mortality, the use of differential burial practices to define rank and the underlying reasons for major changes in burial patterns.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521110785
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 5/7/2009
  • Series: New Directions in Archaeology Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 168
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

List of contributors; Preface; 1. Approaches to the archaeology of death Robert Chapman and Klavs Randsborg; 2. The search for rank in prehistoric burials James A. Brown; 3. Social configurations and the archaeological study of mortuary practices: a case study John O'Shea; 4. One-dimensional archaeology and multi-dimensional people: spatial organisation and mortuary analysis Lynne Goldstein; 5. The emergence of formal disposal areas and the 'problem' of megalithic tombs in prehistoric Europe Robert Chapman; 6. Dialogues with death Ian Kinnes; 7. 'Various styles of urn' - cemeteries and settlement in southern England Richard Bradley; 8. Burial, succession and early state formation in Denmark Klavs Randsborg; 9. Mortuary practices, palaeodemography and palaeopathology: a case study from the Koster site (Illinois) Jane E. Buikstra; 10. Mortality, age structure and status in the interpretation of stress indicators in prehistoric skeletons Della C. Cook; Bibliography; Index.

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