ossamenta: Weasel skull (Default)
To the benefit of those not reading the Swedish archaeology blog Ting och tankar, here's a link to a brand new Ph.D. thesis in archaeology, on Scandinavian burial customs during the Medieval and Post-medieval periods. It looks very interesting, and I hope to be able to have a look at it at the Lund university library when I am home over Christmas and New Year's.

Abstract excerpt: The main themes of the thesis are burial customs and social identities, and how medieval and post-Reformation graves can provide information on such as age structures, phases in life, gender relations and social organization. The study is based on nine groups of Scandinavian material, and it comprises four case studies. The first one deals with social zoning in medieval cemeteries and how age and gender structures varied within and between different social strata. The second concerns ‘atypical’ medieval burials, such as graves in which individuals have been buried in a deviant or peripheral position; and it also focusses on burials of the sick and the impaired. The third case study examines two mainly medieval burial practices: the use of charcoal and burial rods, and possible interpretations of their inclusion in graves. The fourth study deals with post-Reformation burial customs; how they differ from the medieval ones and what notions may have caused the changes in practice.


The Times had an interesting article today about burials of liberated slaves on St Helena, in the middle of the Atlantic. The cemetery was found during excavations for a new road to a planned airport, and approximately 325 inhumations have been excavated. Apart from the regular osteological analysis, isotope analysis are planned on the remains, to see where in Africa these individuals came from. After the analysis has been completed in May, the findings will be published by the Council for British Archaeology.

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