Deviant Burial in the Archaeological Record
edited by Eileen M Murphy
This edited volume contains twelve papers that present evidence on non-normative burial practices from the Neolithic through to Post-Medieval periods and includes case studies from some ten countries. It has long been recognised by archaeologists that certain individuals in a variety of archaeological cultures from diverse periods and locations have been accorded differential treatment in burial relative to other members of their society. These individuals can include criminals, women who died during childbirth, unbaptised infants, people with disabilities, and supposed revenants, to name but a few. Such burials can be identifiable in the archaeological record from an examination of the location and external characteristics of the grave site. Furthermore, the position of the body in addition to its association with unusual grave goods can be a further feature of atypical burials. The motivation behind such non-normative burial practices is also diverse and can be related to a wide variety of social and religious beliefs. It is envisaged that the volume will make a significant contribution towards our understanding of the complexities involved when dealing with non-normative burials in the archaeological record.
244p, illus (Studies in Funerary Archaeology 2, Oxbow Books 2008)
Paperback. Price GB £30.00, US $60.00
Table of Contents
Introduction (Eileen M Murphy);
Unusual burials and necrophobia: An insight into the burial archaeology of fear (Anastasia Tsaliki);
What actually is a ‘deviant burial’? Comparing German-language and Anglophone research on ‘deviant burials’ (Edeltraud Aspöck);
Odd one out? Earlier Neolithic deposition of human remains in caves and rock shelters in the Yorkshire Dales (Stephany Leach);
The value palaeoteratology and forensic pathology for the understanding of atypical burials: Two Mediterranean examples from the field (Philippe Charlier);
Ritual inhumations and ‘deposits’ of children among the Geto-Dacians (Valeriu Sîrbu); Aspects of deviant burial in Roman Britain (Alison Taylor);
Normal, deviant and atypical: Burial variation in late Saxon Wessex, c. AD 700-1100 (Annia Kristina Cherryson);
Charcoal burial: A minority burial rite in early Medieval Europe (James Holloway);
Off with their heads: The Anglo-Saxon execution cemetery at Walkington Wold, East Yorkshire (Jo Buckberry); Unusual life, unusual death and the fate of the corpse: A case study from dynastic Europe (Estella Weiss-Krejci); The origins of Cilliní in Ireland (Colm J Donnelly and Eileen M Murphy);
Grief, grievance and grandeur: An eighteenth-century mausoleum in Mainham, Co. Kildare (Mark Gordon).