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Title: Mortuary practice in Byzantium : an archaeological contribution
Author: Ivison, Eric Addis
ISNI:       0000 0004 2674 9861
Awarding Body: The University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 1993
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This thesis presents the archaeological evidence for Byzantine mortuary practices or burial customs between c950-1453. This consists of published and unpublished material from a number of selected sites, studied with reference to primary sources, anthropology and archaeological theory. Four main questions are posed: 1. To ask what archaeology can tell us about the organisation of burial. 2. To ascertain what contribution cemeteries, tombs and their contents can make to the study of hierarchy in Byzantine society. 3. Whether datable features in some burials can be used to date others lacking such evidence, and if so, how far can any development over time be detected. 4. To trace how far burial practices were determined by local or cosmopolitan factors, and to what extent did influences pass between metropolitan centres and the provinces. The main text (VOLUME I) is divided into three parts discussing these questions within the contexts of cemeteries and burial churches (PART I, CHAPTERS 1-3), the tombs themselves (CHAPTERS 4-8), and the associated objects (CHAPTERS 9-16). Typologies of tombs and associated artifacts are proposed, together with analytical methodologies for their interpretation based upon archaeological and primary sources. Models derived from these analyses are then tested upon other excavated material. The results of these studies are discussed in the CONCLUSION. This thesis concludes that burial in the Byzantine Empire was highly organised and designed to express social hierarchy through the location, style and contents of burials. Byzantine mortuary practices were not static and were constantly mutating to meet practical, social and spiritual needs. Local resources, social display, religious beliefs and external influences acted as the catalysts for change. The range of artifacts associated with Byzantine' burials is more extensive than perhaps expected, and some changes in Byzantine burial after 1204 can be attributed to Western influence, suggesting that the impact of the Frankish conquest upon Byzantium should be re-assessedI.n addition, the study of Byzantine funerary archaeology can give fresh insights upon Byzantine society and its uses of material culture, and can contribute to theoretical debate upon funerary archaeology. VOLUME II is THE DATABASE -a gazetteerc ollection of Site Studies,w hich presents the essential chronological foundation for the main text together with catalogues of tombs and artifacts from the sites under discussion. This is followed by 344 figures preceded by a list of captions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available