Death management and virtual pursuits: a virtual reconstruction of the Minoan cemetery at Phourni, Archanes, examining the use of Tholos Tomb C and Burial Building 19 and the role of illumination, in relation to mortuary practices and the perception of life and death by the living


Papadopoulos, Constantinos (2010) Death management and virtual pursuits: a virtual reconstruction of the Minoan cemetery at Phourni, Archanes, examining the use of Tholos Tomb C and Burial Building 19 and the role of illumination, in relation to mortuary practices and the perception of life and death by the living, London, GB, Archaeopress (British Archaeological Reports, 2082).

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Description/Abstract

In the striking event of death, each community produces rituals, not explicitly or exclusively of a funerary nature. This is done in order to maintain both its stability and integrity, while incorporating the living into a fixed system of culturally defined roles and statuses.

The living had an active role in manipulating dead bodies, either for the primary burial or secondary treatment. This means that they entered the tombs or antechambers in order to prepare the deceased for inhumation, and practiced various ceremonies in commemoration of their ancestors, in accord with their attitude towards death. In addition, they were preparing the tombs for forthcoming burials by removing decomposed bodies, or selected parts of them, and lighting fires for small or large scale fumigations.
People were entering in the tombs to practice rituals related to funerary ceremonies, or for practical purposes, however the noisome environment of a poorly ventilated structure full of corpses may suggest that only a small amount of people could simultaneously enter and remain in it. Natural light, or flame light, should have been a key factor by illuminating the interior, and mirroring eschatological beliefs and world views.

Computer based research provides scientists with an alternative reading of the dataset from the Minoan cemetery at Phourni, Archanes. This analysis attempts to evaluate tombs’ architecture, use, visual impact, and their capacity during different time periods, as well as the contribution of light to determine not only practical purposes, but philosophical and religious beliefs as well.

Item Type: Book
ISBNs: 9781407305585 (paperback)
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > Archaeology
ePrint ID: 205617
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2011 11:48
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 19:48
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/205617

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