A Place to Rest Your (Burnt) Bones? Mortuary Houses in Early Anglo-Saxon England

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10034/620657
Title:
A Place to Rest Your (Burnt) Bones? Mortuary Houses in Early Anglo-Saxon England
Authors:
Meyers Emery, Kathryn; Williams, Howard ( 0000-0003-3510-6852 )
Abstract:
This article presents a fresh interpretation of square and rectangular mortuary structures found in association with deposits of cremated material and cremation burials in a range of early Anglo-Saxon (fifth-/sixth-century AD) cemeteries across southern and eastern England. Responding to a recent argument that they could be traces of pyre structures, a range of ethnographic analogies are drawn upon, and the full-range of archaeological evidence is synthesized, to re-affirm and extend their interpretation as unburned mortuary structures. Three interleaving significances are proposed: (i) demarcating the burial place of specific individuals or groups from the rest of the cemetery population, (ii) operating as ‘columbaria’ for the above-ground storage of the cremated dead (i.e. not just to demarcate cremation burials), and (iii) providing key nodes of commemoration between funerals as the structures were built, used, repaired and eventually decayed within cemeteries. The article proposes that timber ‘mortuary houses’ reveal that groups in early Anglo-Saxon England perceived their cemeteries in relation to contemporary settlement architectures, with some groups constructing and maintaining miniaturized canopied buildings to store and display the cremated remains of the dead.
Affiliation:
George Eastman Museum; University of Chester
Citation:
Meyers Emery, K. & Williams, H. (2017). A Place to Rest Your (Burnt) Bones? Mortuary Houses in Early Anglo-Saxon England. Archaeological Journal, 175(1), 55-86. https://doi.org/10.1080/00665983.2017.1366704
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Journal:
Archaeological Journal
Publication Date:
5-Oct-2017
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10034/620657
DOI:
10.1080/00665983.2017.1366704
Additional Links:
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00665983.2017.1366704
Type:
Article
Language:
en
Description:
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Archaeological Journal on 5th October 2017, available online: doi: 10.1080/00665983.2017.1366704
EISSN:
2373-2288
Appears in Collections:
History and Archaeology

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorMeyers Emery, Kathrynen
dc.contributor.authorWilliams, Howarden
dc.date.accessioned2017-10-16T12:55:02Z-
dc.date.available2017-10-16T12:55:02Z-
dc.date.issued2017-10-05-
dc.identifier.citationMeyers Emery, K. & Williams, H. (2017). A Place to Rest Your (Burnt) Bones? Mortuary Houses in Early Anglo-Saxon England. Archaeological Journal, 175(1), 55-86. https://doi.org/10.1080/00665983.2017.1366704en
dc.identifier.doi10.1080/00665983.2017.1366704-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10034/620657-
dc.descriptionThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Archaeological Journal on 5th October 2017, available online: doi: 10.1080/00665983.2017.1366704en
dc.description.abstractThis article presents a fresh interpretation of square and rectangular mortuary structures found in association with deposits of cremated material and cremation burials in a range of early Anglo-Saxon (fifth-/sixth-century AD) cemeteries across southern and eastern England. Responding to a recent argument that they could be traces of pyre structures, a range of ethnographic analogies are drawn upon, and the full-range of archaeological evidence is synthesized, to re-affirm and extend their interpretation as unburned mortuary structures. Three interleaving significances are proposed: (i) demarcating the burial place of specific individuals or groups from the rest of the cemetery population, (ii) operating as ‘columbaria’ for the above-ground storage of the cremated dead (i.e. not just to demarcate cremation burials), and (iii) providing key nodes of commemoration between funerals as the structures were built, used, repaired and eventually decayed within cemeteries. The article proposes that timber ‘mortuary houses’ reveal that groups in early Anglo-Saxon England perceived their cemeteries in relation to contemporary settlement architectures, with some groups constructing and maintaining miniaturized canopied buildings to store and display the cremated remains of the dead.en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherTaylor & Francisen
dc.relation.urlhttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00665983.2017.1366704en
dc.rights.urihttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/en
dc.subjectCremationen
dc.subjectEarly Anglo-Saxonen
dc.subjectBurialsen
dc.subjectCemeteriesen
dc.titleA Place to Rest Your (Burnt) Bones? Mortuary Houses in Early Anglo-Saxon Englanden
dc.typeArticleen
dc.identifier.eissn2373-2288-
dc.contributor.departmentGeorge Eastman Museum; University of Chesteren
dc.identifier.journalArchaeological Journalen
dc.date.accepted2017-09-15-
or.grant.openaccessYesen
rioxxterms.funderUnfundeden
rioxxterms.identifier.projectUnfundeden
rioxxterms.versionAMen
rioxxterms.licenseref.startdate2019-04-05-
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