Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Taken to the grave : an archaeozoological approach assessing the role of animals as crematory offerings in first millennium AD Britain
Author: Worley, Fay L.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2718 054X
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2008
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
The crematory funerary rites practiced by those living in parts of mainland Britain during the first millennium AD included burning complete or parts of animals on the pyre. This thesis highlights the potential for archaeozoological analysis of faunal pyre goods using assemblages from the first millennium AD as a dataset. Experimental study and the integration of current research from a number of disciplines is used to suggest that although pyrolysis and cremation practices fragment and distort burnt bone assemblages, careful analysis can reveal a wealth of data leading to the interpretation of various forms of pyre good. The results of the author's analysis of material from the sites of Brougham, Cumbria, St. Stephen's, Hertfordshire, Castleford, West Yorkshire and Heath Wood, Derbyshire are combined with data from other published cemeteries to suggest a series of chronological and regional continuities in the use of animals but with a distinct change at the start of the Early Medieval period. The results from Brougham are particularly significant as they alter preconceived views on the utilisation of animals in Romano-British funerary practice. Cremation burials in first millennium AD Britain are shown to include the burnt remains of predominantly domestic taxa with occasional wild species. The pyre goods are interpreted as representing food offerings, companions, amulets, gaming items and sacrifices. This thesis demonstrates that cremated animal bone should not be disregarded but rather valued as source of archaeozoological data, and a significant functional tool for interpreting past funerary behaviour and animal utilisation.
Supervisor: Bond, Julie M. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Anglo-Saxon Britain ; Animal bones ; Archaeology ; Cremation ; Grave goods ; Iron Age Britain ; Roman ; Taphonomy ; Crematory funerary rites ; Faunal pyre ; Archaeozoological analysis ; Romano-British funerary practice