Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10034/620246
Title:
Towards an archaeology of cremation
Authors:
Williams, Howard ( 0000-0003-3510-6852 )
Abstract:
How can we begin to understand and explain the changing significance of cremation in past societies? From many parts of the world and for many periods of human history from as early as the Upper Palaeolithic (Bowler et al., 1980) to recent centuries, archaeologists have uncovered and investigated material evidence for the use of fire as a means of transforming and disposing of the dead. This chapter argues that in contrast to the rich and widespread evidence for cremation in the archaeological record, theoretical approaches in the archaeology of cremation have been relatively thin on the ground until very recently. This relative failure to adequately engage with the complexity and the variability of cremation practices across cultures seems connected to the fact that most of the theoretical debates and developments in mortuary archaeology have, until quite recently, been primarily geared to the investigation of unburned human remains. Therefore, alongside increasingly refined methodologies for investigating burnt bones, it is argued that archaeologists need to redress this imbalance by developing explicit theoretical approaches to the phenomenon of cremation. Such theories need to engage with broad cross-cultural themes and also remain sensitive to the considerable variety of mortuary procedures involving fire used at different times and in different places.
Affiliation:
University of Chester
Citation:
Williams, H. (2015). Towards an archaeology of cremation. In C.W. Schmidt & S. Symes (Eds.), The Analysis of Burned Human Remains (2nd ed., pp. 259-93). London, United Kingdom: Academic Press.
Publisher:
Academic Press
Publication Date:
25-Jun-2015
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10034/620246
Additional Links:
http://store.elsevier.com/product.jsp?isbn=9780128004517&pagename=search
Type:
Book chapter
Language:
en
ISBN:
9780128004517
Appears in Collections:
History and Archaeology

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorWilliams, Howarden
dc.date.accessioned2016-11-08T16:04:19Z-
dc.date.available2016-11-08T16:04:19Z-
dc.date.issued2015-06-25-
dc.identifier.citationWilliams, H. (2015). Towards an archaeology of cremation. In C.W. Schmidt & S. Symes (Eds.), The Analysis of Burned Human Remains (2nd ed., pp. 259-93). London, United Kingdom: Academic Press.en
dc.identifier.isbn9780128004517-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10034/620246-
dc.description.abstractHow can we begin to understand and explain the changing significance of cremation in past societies? From many parts of the world and for many periods of human history from as early as the Upper Palaeolithic (Bowler et al., 1980) to recent centuries, archaeologists have uncovered and investigated material evidence for the use of fire as a means of transforming and disposing of the dead. This chapter argues that in contrast to the rich and widespread evidence for cremation in the archaeological record, theoretical approaches in the archaeology of cremation have been relatively thin on the ground until very recently. This relative failure to adequately engage with the complexity and the variability of cremation practices across cultures seems connected to the fact that most of the theoretical debates and developments in mortuary archaeology have, until quite recently, been primarily geared to the investigation of unburned human remains. Therefore, alongside increasingly refined methodologies for investigating burnt bones, it is argued that archaeologists need to redress this imbalance by developing explicit theoretical approaches to the phenomenon of cremation. Such theories need to engage with broad cross-cultural themes and also remain sensitive to the considerable variety of mortuary procedures involving fire used at different times and in different places.en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherAcademic Pressen
dc.relation.urlhttp://store.elsevier.com/product.jsp?isbn=9780128004517&pagename=searchen
dc.subjectCremationen
dc.subjectArchaeologyen
dc.subjectDeathen
dc.subjectIron Ageen
dc.subjectRomanen
dc.subjectBronze Ageen
dc.subjectAnglo-Saxonen
dc.titleTowards an archaeology of cremationen
dc.typeBook chapteren
dc.contributor.departmentUniversity of Chesteren
dc.date.accepted2015-04-01-
or.grant.openaccessYesen
rioxxterms.funderUnfundeden
rioxxterms.identifier.projectUnfundeden
rioxxterms.versionAMen
rioxxterms.licenseref.startdate2215-06-25-
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