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Beyond the witch trials

Witchcraft and magic in Enlightenment Europe

Edited by: Owen Davies and Willem de Blécourt

This book looks at aspects of the continuation of witchcraft and magic in Europe from the last of the secular and ecclesiastical trials during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, through to the nineteenth century. It provides a brief outline of witch trials in late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Finland. By the second half of the seventeenth century, as the witch trials reached their climax in Sweden, belief in the interventionist powers of the Devil had become a major preoccupation of the educated classes. Having acknowledged the slight possibility of real possession by the Devil, Benito Feijoo threw himself wholeheartedly into his real objective: to expose the falseness of the majority of the possessed. The book is concerned with accusations of magic, which were formalised as denunciations heard by the Inquisition of the Archdiocese of Capua, a city twelve miles north of Naples, during the first half of the eighteenth century. One aspect of the study of witchcraft and magic, which has not yet been absorbed into the main stream of literature on the subject, is the archaeological record of the subject. As a part of the increasing interest in 'popular' culture, historians have become more conscious of the presence of witchcraft after the witch trials. The aftermath of the major witch trials in Dalarna, Sweden, demonstrates how the authorities began the awkward process of divorcing themselves from popular concerns and beliefs regarding witchcraft.

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Brian Hoggard

9 Beyond the witch trials Counter-witchcraft and popular magic The archaeology of counter-witchcraft and popular magic Brian Hoggard One aspect of the study of witchcraft and magic, which has not yet been absorbed into the main stream of literature on the subject, is the archaeological record of the subject. Objects such as witch-bottles, dried cats, horse skulls, shoes, written charms and numerous other items have been discovered concealed inside houses in significant quantities from the early modern period until well into the twentieth century. The locations

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Disassembling the pieces, reassembling the social

The forensic and political lives of secondary mass graves in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Series:

Admir Jugo and Sari Wastell

from these mass graves have similar demographics: they belonged to a displaced, economically underdeveloped population, with a large number reported missing (over 8,000) who are mostly males between seventeen and forty-five,95 men commonly referred to as men of a fighting age, and there is generally inconclusive information in terms Secondary mass graves in Bosnia and Herzegovina   161 of ante-mortem medical and dental records because of the victims’ social, cultural, and/or economic status.96 Dental records are available for less that 10 per cent (roughly 600) of

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‘Earth conceal not my blood’

Forensic and archaeological approaches to locating the remains of Holocaust victims

Series:

Caroline Sturdy Colls

proven repeatedly in a forensic context and now also at Treblinka.55 Recent developments in forensic archaeology also provided new ways of examining graves in terms of what they can reveal about offender behaviour and processes of inhumation.56 Even without excavation, it was possible to access these because the overall length, width and shape of the graves was recorded during the LiDAR survey and using a combination of other measured survey methods such as Differential Kinematic GPS and Total Station survey.57 In order to establish the depth, geophysical survey

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The unburied victims of Kenya’s Mau Mau Rebellion

Where and when does the violence end?

Series:

David M. Anderson and Paul J. Lane

archaeological excavations, their subsequent disposal and their display in museums and research institutions have become matters of widespread and frequently heated debate across a range of academic disciplines and in a growing number of public contexts.10 As these cases have highlighted, human remains, whether studied in an archaeological, anthropological or biological context, are invariably enmeshed in a complex web of sociocultural practices. Legal, ethical and theological concerns all impact upon how such remains are treated, as do human emotional responses and also

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A mere technical exercise?

Challenges and technological solutions to the ­identification of individuals in mass grave scenarios in the modern context

Series:

Gillian Fowler and Tim Thompson

and records remain classified or unobtainable. An additional complication is the issue of body parts that cannot be identified and, therefore, cannot be returned to the family, which has societal repercussions on national reconciliation policies. Further, it is imperative to identify the victim group if charges of genocide are being pursued. Forensic scientists, including anthropologists, have been exploring the potential of new methods and processes in the resolution of such contexts. The introduction of DNA to contexts where 118   Gillian Fowler and Tim Thompson

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Excavation

The imaginary archaeology of redevelopment

Series:

David Calder

3 Excavation: the imaginary archaeology of redevelopment Vaulx-en-Velin, May 2012. I have reached the end of the line. I alight from the subway train at Vaulx-en-Velin La Soie, the ‘multimodal’ transit hub that since October 2007 has connected this far-flung eastern banlieue to Lyon city centre. Diffuse light from frosted skylights bathes the underground platform in a soft glow. Warm-toned woods and evenly spaced palm trees set this station apart from the older, workaday concrete models I left behind in Lyon and Villeurbanne. In the years following this visit

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Series:

José López Mazz

strategy that we know from archaeological and ethnographic research has existed in this region since the first millennium BC.3 A full repertoire of violent pre-Columbian practices that included scalping, displaying severed heads (as trophies), cannibalism, and the dismemberment of bodies has been recorded in research from the field of prehistory4 and from ethnographic studies of the eighteenth through to the twentieth century.5 Significant levels of violence and social conflict emerged among the pre- and proto-historic peoples living in the lowlands of eastern Uruguay

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Remembering the Japanese occupation massacres

Mass graves in post-war Malaysia

Series:

Frances Tay

country under the communist banner?’33 The leader of the opposition Democratic Action Party, Lim Kit Siang, released an open letter deriding Zainuddin’s claims that all anti-Japanese fighters were communists and mocked the minister’s earlier recorded statement that just because he was Information Minister, ‘he knows history, he understands history, he is part of history and that he bears witness to history’.34 Despite the controversy, the new monument was unveiled officially in September 2007. Beneath the obelisk, the message that this is ‘a monument for Malayan heroes

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Introduction

Beyond the witch trials

Owen Davies and Willem de Blécourt

title of this book refers not only to the chronological emphasis of its contents, but is also indicative of the different methodological approaches that can be applied to the last of the trials, and the variety of sources that can be used to illuminate our understanding of the continued relevance of witchcraft once it was decriminalised. The contributors come from different academic disciplines, and by borrowing from literary theory, archaeology and folklore they move beyond the usual historical perspectives and sources. The emphasis is not so much on witchcraft