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Bereavement and Commemoration: An Archaeology of Mortality

ISBN: 978-0-631-20613-2
224 pages
August 1999, Wiley-Blackwell
Bereavement and Commemoration: An Archaeology of Mortality (0631206132) cover image


This book provides an historical archaeology of death, burial and bereavement from the Reformation to the present.
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Table of Contents

List of Figures.

List of tables.


1. A historical archaeology of death.

2. Towards an archaeology of bereavement and commemoration: death, emotion and metaphor.

3. Changing commemorative practices in Orkney.

4. A living memory and a corrupting corpse.

5. Remembering the dead in the nineteenth century: a love story.

6. War and remembrance.

7. Loved and lost.




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Author Information

Sarah Tarlow is a Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Wales, Lampeter, where she teaches courses in the archaeology of death, later historical periods and aspects of archaeological method and theory. Since receiving her PhD in archaeology from Cambridge University, she has published articles on the later historical archaeology of Britain and on the archaeology of death. Her current research interests are in archaeologies of the human body and in utopian communities. She is co-editor of The Familiar Past? Archaeologies of Later Historical Britain (1998).
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The Wiley Advantage

  • Provides an introduction to the study of death and remembrance in the past.

  • Focuses not only on material culture but also on theories of emotion and experience in the context of death.

  • Includes insights from outside archaeology, drawing on literary and historical sources.
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"An interesting and informative work." Choice

"This is a thoughtful study that attempts to deal with subjects of major import ... no one will come away from this book without new ideas and perceptions about the nature of bereavement, how it is commemorated through material culture and how these objects have been interpreted." Times Higher Education Supplement

"... [an] extremely important contribution to the fast-growing field of post-medieval death studies." Archaeological Journal

"A stimulating read." Post-Medieval Archaeology

"Tarlow's book is heartening evidence that bereavement research need not stay in a narrow ghetto." Bereavement Care

"Throughout, there is a sense of the writer's own humanity ... There is a great deal of interest to be found in this book and it is to be hoped that it will encourage others who choose death as their subject to be as humane in the way they write about it." Folklore

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