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Presenting the past: On archaeologists and their influence on modern burial practices

Presenting the past: On archaeologists and their influence on modern burial practices
Presenting the past: On archaeologists and their influence on modern burial practices
This paper demonstrates how antiquarians and archaeologists have influenced the burial practices of their times. They have encouraged the re-invention of prehistoric monuments in contemporary burial practices and also been involved in introducing the practice of modern cremation. Whereas antiquarians encouraged the upper-class stratum of society to reuse prehistoric material culture, their nineteenth century successors, archaeologists, turned to another audience. By focussing in greater detail on the earliest archaeologists and their endeavours to make archaeology a subject of public interest, it is revealed how they facilitated the re-invention of prehistoric material culture. For instance, bautas (a prehistoric memory stone for a deceased) became popular in the late nineteenth century, and it was also acategory of sepulchral objects that the wealthier working class could afford. Hereby it is further shown how archaeology is an integral part of society, and not, as commonly argued within the history of archaeology, a discipline which in its interpretation of prehistory is influenced from a societal ‘outside’.
1357-6275
98-112
Back Danielsson, Ing-Marie
8f919e52-1e1a-4997-8089-8e270c356066
Back Danielsson, Ing-Marie
8f919e52-1e1a-4997-8089-8e270c356066

Back Danielsson, Ing-Marie (2011) Presenting the past: On archaeologists and their influence on modern burial practices. Mortality, 16 (2), 98-112. (doi:10.1080/13576275.2011.560452).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This paper demonstrates how antiquarians and archaeologists have influenced the burial practices of their times. They have encouraged the re-invention of prehistoric monuments in contemporary burial practices and also been involved in introducing the practice of modern cremation. Whereas antiquarians encouraged the upper-class stratum of society to reuse prehistoric material culture, their nineteenth century successors, archaeologists, turned to another audience. By focussing in greater detail on the earliest archaeologists and their endeavours to make archaeology a subject of public interest, it is revealed how they facilitated the re-invention of prehistoric material culture. For instance, bautas (a prehistoric memory stone for a deceased) became popular in the late nineteenth century, and it was also acategory of sepulchral objects that the wealthier working class could afford. Hereby it is further shown how archaeology is an integral part of society, and not, as commonly argued within the history of archaeology, a discipline which in its interpretation of prehistory is influenced from a societal ‘outside’.

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Published date: May 2011
Organisations: Archaeology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 392344
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/392344
ISSN: 1357-6275
PURE UUID: 23352c8d-5ab8-489f-ac63-d76896f5a6d4

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Date deposited: 14 Apr 2016 10:12
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 19:18

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