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Embodied Rituals and Ritualized Bodies : Tracing Ritual Practices in Late Mesolithic Burials

Nilsson Stutz, Liv LU (2003) In Acta Archaeologica Lundensia. Series in 8° 46.
Abstract
This thesis explores the ritual dimensions of the mortuary practices in the late Mesolithic cemeteries at Skateholm in Southern Sweden and Vedbæk-Bøgebakken in Eastern Denmark. With a combination of methods and theories that all focus on the ritual practices as action, a new approach to burials in archaeology is proposed. Special attention is given to the treatment of the body after death, which is regarded to hold a central role in the mortuary practices. The focus on the body and on practices as actions is a central part of the method of analysis applied to the material. The French taphonomic approach anthropologie de terrain, which ultimately aims to reconstruct the acts that constituted the mortuary rituals, allows for a firm... (More)
This thesis explores the ritual dimensions of the mortuary practices in the late Mesolithic cemeteries at Skateholm in Southern Sweden and Vedbæk-Bøgebakken in Eastern Denmark. With a combination of methods and theories that all focus on the ritual practices as action, a new approach to burials in archaeology is proposed. Special attention is given to the treatment of the body after death, which is regarded to hold a central role in the mortuary practices. The focus on the body and on practices as actions is a central part of the method of analysis applied to the material. The French taphonomic approach anthropologie de terrain, which ultimately aims to reconstruct the acts that constituted the mortuary rituals, allows for a firm connection between the archaeological material and the theoretical framework. Through the engagement with practice theory and ritual theory, this thesis also touches upon the fundamental questions of why we need rituals to structure our lives and our world. More specifically, it discusses different dimensions of the need for rites of passage at death. How does ritual help us deal with the dual aspect of the crisis of death – the loss of a social being and the emergence of a cadaver? What does it mean for us to deal with the inevitably decomposing remains of our dead? How do the experiences and memories of these rituals contribute to shape our notions of body, self, life and death? Ultimately, this thesis is an attempt to make a connection, on the level of the processes of structuration of human life, between then and now, them and us. (Less)
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author
opponent
  • Dr. Taylor, Timothy, University of Bradford
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
anthropologie de terrain, mortuary practices, ritual, Mesolithic, practice theory, Archaeology, Arkeologi
in
Acta Archaeologica Lundensia. Series in 8°
volume
46
pages
395 pages
publisher
Almqvist & Wiksell International
defense location
Carolinasalen, Kungshuset, Lund
defense date
2003-10-24 10:15
ISSN
0065-0994
ISBN
91-22-02037-3
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
d356733a-2ed2-42b8-b92b-a4d9f5e94fe4 (old id 21368)
date added to LUP
2007-05-28 14:58:01
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:44:56
@phdthesis{d356733a-2ed2-42b8-b92b-a4d9f5e94fe4,
  abstract     = {This thesis explores the ritual dimensions of the mortuary practices in the late Mesolithic cemeteries at Skateholm in Southern Sweden and Vedbæk-Bøgebakken in Eastern Denmark. With a combination of methods and theories that all focus on the ritual practices as action, a new approach to burials in archaeology is proposed. Special attention is given to the treatment of the body after death, which is regarded to hold a central role in the mortuary practices. The focus on the body and on practices as actions is a central part of the method of analysis applied to the material. The French taphonomic approach anthropologie de terrain, which ultimately aims to reconstruct the acts that constituted the mortuary rituals, allows for a firm connection between the archaeological material and the theoretical framework. Through the engagement with practice theory and ritual theory, this thesis also touches upon the fundamental questions of why we need rituals to structure our lives and our world. More specifically, it discusses different dimensions of the need for rites of passage at death. How does ritual help us deal with the dual aspect of the crisis of death – the loss of a social being and the emergence of a cadaver? What does it mean for us to deal with the inevitably decomposing remains of our dead? How do the experiences and memories of these rituals contribute to shape our notions of body, self, life and death? Ultimately, this thesis is an attempt to make a connection, on the level of the processes of structuration of human life, between then and now, them and us.},
  author       = {Nilsson Stutz, Liv},
  isbn         = {91-22-02037-3},
  issn         = {0065-0994},
  keyword      = {anthropologie de terrain,mortuary practices,ritual,Mesolithic,practice theory,Archaeology,Arkeologi},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {395},
  publisher    = {Almqvist & Wiksell International},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {Acta Archaeologica Lundensia. Series in 8°},
  title        = {Embodied Rituals and Ritualized Bodies : Tracing Ritual Practices in Late Mesolithic Burials},
  volume       = {46},
  year         = {2003},
}