• Death in the Contemporary World: Perspectives from Public Archaeology

      Williams, Howard; University of Chester (JAS Arquelogia SLU, 2018-10-31)
      This Introduction to AP’s third special issue seeks to provide context and rationale to the study of ‘public mortuary archaeology’ before reviewing the development of the volume. Building on the presentations of the first Public Archaeology Twitter Conference of April 2017, these articles comprise a wide range of original analyses reflecting on the public archaeology of death. In addition to evaluations of fieldwork contexts, churches and museums, there are discussions of the digital dimensions to public mortuary archaeology, an appraisal of ancient and modern DNA research as public mortuary archaeology, and an evaluation of the relationship between mortuary archaeology and palliative care. Together, the articles constitute the state of current thinking on the public archaeology of death, burial and commemoration.
    • Death, memory and material culture: Catalytic commemoration and the cremated dead

      Williams, Howard; University of Chester (Oxford University Press, 2013-06-06)
    • Dialogues with the dead in Vikings

      Williams, Howard; Klevnäs, Alison; University of Chester; Stockholm University (McFarland, 2019-11-30)
      Moving pictures continue to transform popular engagements with the human past for early 21st-century audiences as for 20th-century audiences, via cinema, television and the internet. While there is a long tradition of filmic representations of the Vikings, the History Channel series Vikings (2013–) is to date a unique instance of a multi-season popular English- language drama portraying the Viking Age in pre–Christian Scandinavia. The story and settings are fictional and sometimes fantastical, yet they are richly and imaginatively informed by a mixture of literary, historical and archaeological sources. This chapter reviews the dialogues with dead bodies and body-parts depicted in the show.
    • Firing the Imagination: Cremation in the Museum

      Williams, Howard; University of Chester (Oxford University Press, 2016-06-09)
      This volume addresses the relationship between archaeologists and the dead, through the many dimensions of their relationships: in the field (through practical and legal issues), in the lab (through their analysis and interpretation), and in their written, visual and exhibitionary practice--disseminated to a variety of academic and public audiences. Written from a variety of perspectives, its authors address the experience, effect, ethical considerations, and cultural politics of working with mortuary archaeology. Whilst some papers reflect institutional or organizational approaches, others are more personal in their view: creating exciting and frank insights into contemporary issues that have hitherto often remained "unspoken" among the discipline. Reframing funerary archaeologists as "death-workers" of a kind, the contributors reflect on their own experience to provide both guidance and inspiration to future practitioners, arguing strongly that we have a central role to play in engaging the public with themes of mortality and commemoration, through the lens of the past. Spurred by the recent debates in the UK, papers from Scandinavia, Austria, Italy, the US, and the mid-Atlantic, frame these issues within a much wider international context that highlights the importance of cultural and historical context in which this work takes place.
    • The landscape of a Swedish boat-grave cemetery

      Williams, Howard; Rundkvist, Martin; Danielsson, Arne; University of Chester (Oxbow, 2010-03-01)
      The paper integrates topographical and experiential approaches to the mortuary landscape of a Viking period inhumation-grave excavated in 2005 within the cemetery at Skamby, Kuddy parish, Östergötland province, Sweden. We argue that the landscape context was integral to the performance of the funerary ceremonies and the subsequent monumental presence of the dead in the landscape. We offer a way to move beyond monocausal explanations for burial location based on single-scale analyses. Instead, we suggest that boat-inhumation at Skamby was a commemorative strategy that operated on multiple scales and drew its significance from multiple landscape attributes.
    • Rethinking heirlooms in early medieval graves

      Costello, Brian; Williams, Howard; University of Chester (Archaeopress, 2019-09-14)
      Since the influential work of Roger White (1988; 1990), there have been a range of studies exploring the reuse and recycling of artefacts in southern and eastern Britain in the 5th–7th centuries AD, focusing especially on the reuse of Roman artefacts in early Anglo-Saxon furnished inhumation graves. This chapter will reappraise the theoretical and methodological framework for such studies, suggesting that the focus on ‘Roman’ artefacts distracts attention away from the potential mnemonic significance of deploying early medieval curated artefacts in the mortuary arena as key components of burial assemblages. We propose a new approach to early medieval artefacts, focusing on how older early medieval ‘heirlooms’ were deployed within the burial tableau as significant elements of mortuary performance. This argument is illustrated by four furnished inhumation graves, two each from a pair of cemeteries in east Kent.
    • Writing and sources III: Cromwell's death at Chepstow, summer 1648

      Gaunt, Peter; Chester College of Higher Education (The Cromwell Association, 2000)
      This article discusses a pamphlet which gives an account of Cromwell's supposed death and death-bed pronouncements at Chepstow in summer 1648.