Download Death and Memory in Early Medieval Britain by Howard Williams PDF

By Howard Williams

How have been the useless remembered in early medieval Britain? initially released in 2006, this cutting edge research demonstrates how perceptions of the earlier and the useless, and for that reason social identities, have been developed via mortuary practices and commemoration among c. 400-1100 advert. Drawing on archaeological proof from throughout Britain, together with archaeological discoveries, Howard Williams provides a clean interpretation of the importance of moveable artefacts, the physique, constructions, monuments and landscapes in early medieval mortuary practices. He argues that fabrics and areas have been utilized in ritual performances that served as 'technologies of remembrance', practices that created shared 'social' thoughts meant to hyperlink previous, current and destiny. in the course of the deployment of fabric tradition, early medieval societies have been for that reason selectively remembering and forgetting their ancestors and their heritage. Throwing gentle on a huge point of medieval society, this booklet is vital studying for archaeologists and historians with an curiosity within the early medieval interval.

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By analogy with other Bronze Age burials, the cutting of the grave into the centre of a Bronze Age barrow would probably have revealed many different burials, some primary, some added at later dates in the site’s use. The Swallowcliffe burial mound is likely to have originally covered at least one crouched inhumation burial and received a series of secondary inhumation and cremation graves, and indeed the excavations revealed traces of cremated material in the grave fill of the Saxon burial suggesting earlier disturbed graves.

This reuse also required the opening of the centre of the monument and the destruction of the original primary grave, and the complete remodelling of the monument once back-filling was complete. A prominent post may have also been erected to commemorate the site of the grave. Therefore, rather than a passive veneration of an earlier structure, the Swallowcliffe Anglo-Saxon burial involved the wholesale reconfiguration of the monument. The monument reuse at Swallowcliffe was an enduring element of the funeral that contributed to the creation of a new monument out of the old (see Williams 1997).

7 Plan of the 1966 excavations of the reused, early Bronze Age burial mound on Swallowcliffe Down. The seventh-century bed-burial was uncovered centrally placed within, and deliberately reusing and remodelling, the earlier monument (redrawn by S´ean Goddard after Speake 1989). some with Christian ritual practices (the sprinkler), and others were elements of burial costume, although not actually worn by the deceased (the brooches), while the comb was concerned with the presentation of the body in life and perhaps also in death.

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