The eccentric dead: a reanalysis of early Anglo-Saxon cemetery data from East Anglia and Lindsey

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Whitehouse, Laura Marie (2017). The eccentric dead: a reanalysis of early Anglo-Saxon cemetery data from East Anglia and Lindsey. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Abstract

The concept of ‘deviant burial’ has been part of archaeological vocabulary since the 1980s, but is still often used too casually to be meaningful. The term has been used to describe individuals who have been accorded alternative burial rites when compared to others within the same burial ground, region or time period. As ‘deviant burial’ is widely found in archaeological and anthropological contexts, there was need to examine the range of these alternative burial rites and to determine whether this differentiation at death was reserved for the ostracised and the punished. This study used a cemetery analysis of eight early Anglo-Saxon sites to test whether the accordance of ‘deviant’ or atypical burial rites was associated with a particular group of individuals or set of funerary motifs. A total of 1016 inhumed individuals were examined from East Anglia and North Lincolnshire (Lindsey) and entered into a searchable database before being subjected to a comprehensive statistical analysis. This identified atypical rites that were not necessarily associated with criminal punishment or negative treatment. This study found that individuals who were accorded differential burial treatment were not always found in an iniquitous context and could instead be interpreted as evidence of eccentricity at death.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Supervisor(s):
Supervisor(s)EmailORCID
Harris, AntheaUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
White, RogerUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Licence:
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of History and Cultures, Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology (CAHA)
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/7452

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