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Title: Cemeteries and burial practice in the western provinces of the Roman Empire to c. A.D.300
Author: Jones, Richard F. J.
ISNI:       0000 0000 2432 0210
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University of London
Date of Award: 1982
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Mortuary practices in the western provinces of the Roman Empire up to c.A.D. 300 are considered in the context of recent work in other areas on the archaeological interpretation of mortuary remains. Regional surveys of Britain, Gaul and the western Mediterranean give the background for detailed analyses of large samples of excavated data by quantitative means. There are few examples of cemeteries excavated on a large enough scale to provide truly satisfactory samples at least of urban mortuary populations and where full research has been done on the dating of individual graves and on the skeletal material. However, it has been possible to isolate detailed chronological changes in burial practices at particular places and also to distinguish differences within cemeteries and between contemporary cemeteries. It is argued that there were strong local traditions for communities using individual cemeteries, as well as at a regional level, but that within those traditions there were other variations which can best be explained as related to social factors. The applicability of this interpretation is restricted by the lack of satisfactory palaeodemographic studies, but the case for a social explanation to variations in burial practice is stronger here than in other archaeological areas because of tighter chronologies, larger samples and a better understanding of the living societies, and especially because the variations can be seen as parts of the wider traditions. The relationships between cemeteries and settlements and religion and burial practices are discussed. Doubt is also cast on the validity of the demographic conclusions based on the most common methods of studying the skeletal material.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Archaeology