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Beyond the Grave: Excavating the Dead in the Late Roman Provinces

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

John Pearce, L. Lavan (Editor), M. Mulryan (Editor)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-482
Number of pages43
JournalLate Antique Archaeology
Issue number1


King's Authors


Recent decades have been fruitful for the gathering of new evidence, and
for the establishment of new methods and theoretical perspectives in Late
Roman funerary archaeology. This paper reflects on three aspects of the
new data, distribution, character and dissemination, using examples from
Britain and beyond. Grave distribution is strongly biased towards urban
contexts, with consequences for socio-cultural and demographic analysis.
Opportunities to advance understanding of burial as a process rather than a
single depositional moment are discussed, including funerary rituals, commemorative activity, grave marking and the disturbance of human remains.
A fuller exploitation of digital dissemination is advocated, in particular to
allow one of the richest pre-modern skeletal samples to achieve an impact
commensurate with its scale and quality.

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