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Perfect Death: Examples of Pitted Ware Ritualisation of the Dead
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History.
2015 (English)In: Ancient Death Ways: Proceedings of the workshop on archaeology and mortuary practices. Uppsala, 16–17 May 2013, Uppsala: Uppsala universitet, 2015, 47-64 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

To handle death may be a difficult task for the living. The deathof a person creates a turbulent situation that needs to be resolved.Ritual actions and burial practices performed within the frameworkof the prevailing social norms are a way to deal with conflictsand changed power relations. This paper deals with such issuesexemplified by the Pitted Ware burial practices seen in theburial ground at Ajvide, Eksta Parish on Gotland. The burial expressionsobserved from this site indicate the use of different ritualsin the treatment of the dead. These are visible by bodies buriedin the supine position in single, or sometimes in double or triplegraves, while some consist of individuals in a “package” where thebody must have been in a state of decay when buried. Well over athousand identified human bone fragments found in the culturallayers indicate bodies that may have been exposed above groundor used secondarily and ultimately dispersed in the area. Emptygraves and graves with missing bones also indicate that bones ofdeceased ancestors may have been of importance in the death ritualsthat assured a “Perfect Death”.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Uppsala universitet, 2015. 47-64 p.
Occasional papers in archaeology, ISSN 1100-6358 ; 59
Keyword [en]
death; archaeology and burials; Stone Age; Pitted Ware; Ajvide
National Category
Humanities Archaeology
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-271140ISBN: 978-91-506-2446-5OAI: diva2:891227
Workshop on archaeology and mortuary practices. Uppsala, 16–17 May 2013
Available from: 2016-01-06 Created: 2016-01-06 Last updated: 2016-01-28Bibliographically approved

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Ancient Death Ways: Proceedings of the workshop on archaeology and mortuary practice

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Wallin, Paul
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