• Citations in Stone: The Material World of Hogbacks

      Williams, Howard; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2017-01-20)
      This article explores a meshwork of citations to other material cultures and architectures created by the form and ornament of house-shaped early medieval recumbent stone monuments popularly known in Britain as ‘hogbacks’. In addition to citing the form and ornament of contemporary buildings, shrines, and tombs, this article suggests recumbent mortuary monuments referenced a far broader range of contemporary portable artefacts and architectures. The approach takes attention away from identifying any single source of origin for hogbacks. Instead, considering multi-scalar and multi-media references within the form and ornament of different carved stones provides the basis for revisiting their inherent variability and their commemorative efficacy by creating the sense of an inhabited mortuary space in which the dead are in dialogue with the living. By alluding to an entangled material world spanning Norse and Insular, ecclesiastical and secular spheres, hogbacks were versatile technologies of mortuary remembrance in the Viking Age.
    • Death, memory and material culture: Catalytic commemoration and the cremated dead

      Williams, Howard; University of Chester (Oxford University Press, 2013-06-06)
    • Introduction: stones in substance, space and time

      Williams, Howard; Kirton, Joanne; Gondek, Meggen M.; University of Chester; Big Heritage (Boydell Press, 2015-09-17)
      A triad of research themes – materiality, biography and landscape – provide the distinctive foci and parameters of the contributions to this book. The chapters explore a range of early medieval inscribed and sculpted stone monuments from Ireland (Ní Ghrádaigh and O’Leary), Britain (Gondek, Hall, Kirton and Williams) and Scandinavia (Back Danielsson and Crouwers). The chapters together show how these themes enrich and expand the interdisciplinary study of early medieval stone monuments, in particular revealing how a range of different inscribed and sculpted stones were central to the creation and recreation of identities and memories for early medieval individuals, families, households, religious and secular communities and kingdoms.
    • 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.
    • Viking Mortuary Citations

      Williams, Howard; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2016-07-06)
      Introducing the European Journal of Archaeology’s special issue ‘Mortuary Citations: Death and Memory in the Viking World’, this article outlines the justification and theoretical framework underpinning a new set of studies on Viking-age mortuary and commemorative practice as strategies of mortuary citation. The contributions to the collection are reviewed in relation to strengths and weaknesses in existing research and broader themes in mortuary archaeological research into memory work in past societies.