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Title: The relativity of normality: An acrchaeological and anthropological study of deviant burials and different treatments at death
Author: Aspock, Edeltraud
ISNI:       0000 0004 2672 1623
Awarding Body: The University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2009
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The concept of deviant burials is frequently used in archaeology, but there is a variety of different understandings of the concept. This thesis started off with exploring the meaning of deviant burial in archaeological research and then moved on to applying this concept to anthropological evidence. The result was that the dichotomous nature of the archaeological concept of deviant burials conflicts with much information in ethnographies: many societies practice a range of different mortuary practices, many of which can not be classified as normal or deviant. A new research approach was created, which distinguished between deviant burials as ‘negative’ burials and differentiated treatment at death, which was applied for example to different age, sex or status groups within the same society. This approach was based on practice theory. The area around Winchester from the late Iron Age to the middle Anglo-Saxon period served as a case study area: deviant burial practices and differentiated treatment at death were analysed in a thorough contextual analysis of three cemetery sites (Lankhills: AD 310-410; Worthy Park: late fifth to early seventh centuries AD; Winnall II: mid seventh to beginning of the eight centuries AD), and, combined with an analysis and discussion of further cemeteries and sites with human remains from the late Iron Age to the middle Anglo-Saxon period in the Winchester area, a long-term perspective of continuity and change in different and deviant mortuary practices was developed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Board
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available