Death. An Archaeological Long Term Perspective

Project: Research

Layman's description

Graves are one of the best-known archaeological sources. Through burial discourse we gain knowledge about attitudes towards death and burial throughout the ages. The archaeological material culture and the materiality that is expressed through the treatment of dead people and animals provide a perspective over several millennia on the various cultural expressions and mentalities of human beings.

Generations of archaeologists have used graves for chronological and spatial analyses as well as for analyses of wealth, social status and gender roles. Tombs and graves provide insights into basic attitudes to life and are therefore a significant archaeological source material, among many others, for analyses of rituals and ideological and religious concepts.

Graves can also be considered as an expression of the mentality that binds people together and which is crucial to a social community. They provide a perspective on the way in which people were considered when they were alive. The burial ritual is one of life’s rites of passage and tombs provide a picture of a burial discourse that is a sort of montage of the persona of the deceased, but also of the norms and values in the community.

This project encompasses an analysis of burial discourse and changes in burial practices from the Stone Age to the Middle Ages, based on Nordic burial material.
Effective start/end date2000/01/012014/12/31