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Duncan Sayer

prepared on the pyre, At the funeral pile he was easily seen, His tunic covered in blood) (Sebo, 2015 ) The circumstances dictated the nature of the ritual and its emphasis; it was designed by a wife and mother, with a focus on her brother. Had this mortuary drama been prepared by Hildeburh’s daughter-in-law it might have looked quite different. Rather than being cremated in the clothes they died in, they might have been dressed in new clothes and with identifiable gravegoods. The visibility of the injuries they inflicted on each other was important to

in Early Anglo-Saxon cemeteries
Open Access (free)
Duncan Sayer

(see Figure 1.9 and Figure 3.7 ). Overall, this pattern implies that the configuration B burials were treated differently. Instead of the vertical pattern presented in the centre of the cemetery among the configuration A burials, the configuration B inhumations had a more horizontal nature and were at least partially buried among groups of contemporaneous graves. However, there were a couple of graves which complicate this. Grave 12 was of the A configuration, and was interesting because it consisted of two burials: 12A was a male burial with a scabbard mount

in Early Anglo-Saxon cemeteries
Duncan Sayer

encapsulate and reproduce mortuary culture and society in the moments adjoining burial and repurpose the ritualistic nature of burial to create new social identities (see Williams, 2006 ; Williams and Sayer, 2009 ; Fowler, 2010 ; Price, 2010 ). The living’s response to bereavement embodies subjective decisions within the physical world because a funeral takes place at a specific time; the grave has a physical shape, and material things furnish it. But that grave does not exist in isolation: it is located in a space that includes other burials with their own histories

in Early Anglo-Saxon cemeteries
Duncan Sayer

included dissimilar participants who had their own unique experiences and perspectives. Each site had its own internal chronology and this dictated its shape and future development, as well as the nature of the burials. Therefore cemeteries were not just the focus of single-staged funeral events; they were an aesthetic, visually powerful tool that people used to recall the history of a community, their family and their genealogy. They were important for the development of individual and community memory (Williams, 2006 ; Devlin, 2007b ). This was developed within the

in Early Anglo-Saxon cemeteries
Duncan Sayer

pluralistic nature of society. In this section we will be looking at evidence from the body, and situating that within an examination of social situations. For example, rather than investigating the medical or social cause of skeletal trauma and the individual experience, we examine with whom it is found, alongside the mortuary technologies already identified in the preceding chapters. Despite its title, this chapter is not about the individual, but it uses individuals as the building blocks with which to examine the community of which they were a part. By first identifying

in Early Anglo-Saxon cemeteries
Open Access (free)
Duncan Sayer

, 2009 ; Chapman et al., 1981 ; Parker Pearson, 1999 : 73). Gravegoods were deliberately used to dress a corpse or placed into a grave, and so they may convey specific and meaningful messages to different groups of people. The nature of the message is entangled within their relationships; however, some of these messages can be explored. Furnished graves often included sets of objects: a furnished male burial is one with a weapon set, a shield and spear; a woman’s burial is furnished with a pair of brooches (Härke, 1994; Stoodley, 1999 ). These material

in Early Anglo-Saxon cemeteries