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Presenting the past: On archaeologists and their influence on modern burial practices
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies.
2011 (English)In: Mortality, ISSN 1357-6275, E-ISSN 1469-9885, Vol. 16, no 2, 98-112 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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 a category 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’.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Routledge , 2011. Vol. 16, no 2, 98-112 p.
Keyword [en]
archaeology; death; cremation; material culture; burials; Sweden; bautas;
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-57595OAI: diva2:416570
Available from: 2011-05-12 Created: 2011-05-12 Last updated: 2011-05-12Bibliographically approved

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