Death is material by its very nature. Defining death is difficult since it often involves ideas of a soul or a spiritual entity which is believed to live on in various metaphysical realms. However, the universal aspect which characterises death is the corpse. The absence of life is physical, material and real; it is a dead body. It is this primary materiality of death which triggers human responses to the inevitable, and all funerals, in one way or another, solve the problem of the decaying corpse. The contributors to this book discuss and explore alternative ways of dealing with burials.
This is a collection of 16 papers presented from an EAA session held at Krakow in 2006, exploring various aspects of the archaeology of death.
The materiality of death: bodies, burials, beliefs / Fredrik Fahlander & Terje Oestigaard
Bodies More than metaphor: approaching the human cadaver in archaeology / Liv Nilsson Stutz
A piece of the mesolithic Horizontal stratigraphy and bodily manipulations at Skateholm / Fredrik Fahlander
Excavating the kings' bones: the materiality of death in practice and ethics today / Anders Kaliff & Terje Oestigaard
From corpse to ancestor: the role of tombside dining in the transformation of the body in ancient Rome / Regina Gee
Burials Cremations, conjecture and contextual taphonomies: material strategies during the 4th to 2nd Millennia BC in Scotland / Paul RJ Duffy and Gavin MacGregor
Ritual and remembrance at archaic Crustumerium The transformations of past and modern materialities in the cemetery of Cisterna Grande (Rome, Italy) / Ulla Rajala
Reuse in Finnish cremation cemeteries under level ground: examples of collective memory / Anna Wickholm
Life and death in the Bronze Age of the NW of Iberian Peninsula / Ana MS Bettencourt
Norwegian face-urns: local context and interregional contacts / Malin Aasbøe
The use of ochre in Stone Age burials of the east Baltic / Ilga Zagorska
Beliefs Death myths: performing of rituals and variations in corpse treatment during the migration period in Norway / Siv Kristoffersen and Terje Oestigaard
Reproduction and relocation of death in Iron Age Scandinavia / Terje Gansum
A road for the Viking's soul / Åke Johansson
A road to the other side / Camilla Grön
Stones and bones: the myth of Ymer and mortuary practices with an example from the migration period in Uppland, Central Sweden / Christina Lindgren
"The majority of the texts in this volume were presented as working papers at the session, The materiality of death: bodies, burials, and beliefs, organised by Fredrik Fahlander and Terje Oestigaard at the XIIth European Association for Archaeologists annual meeting in Krakow, Poland in September 2006"--P. 13.