Skip to main content

Bereavement and Commemoration: An Archaeology of Mortality



Bereavement and Commemoration: An Archaeology of Mortality

Sarah Tarlow

ISBN: 978-0-631-20613-2 August 1999 Wiley-Blackwell 224 Pages


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




"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

  • 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.