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Title: A relational approach to mortuary practices within Medieval Byzantine Anatolia
Author: Moore, Sophie Violet
Awarding Body: University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2013
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How did Byzantine people treat their dead? How do the mortuary practices for which we have archaeological evidence relate to Byzantine understandings of eschatology and the other world? This thesis endeavours to fill a lacuna in the study of Medieval Byzantine mortuary practice by collating and analysing both previously published catalogues of graves and the data contained in two previously unpublished archives from the sites of Çatalhöyük and Alahan. A typology of sites and graves is developed categorising sites as interior church cemeteries, exterior church cemeteries, chapel burials and field cemeteries. Date ranges and standard grave forms for each category of site have been established as far as possible. This thesis aims to put the data from cemetery sites in context in terms of the religious and political climate of Medieval Byzantine Anatolia in order to assess issues of regionalisation and identity through diversity in mortuary practice. The culmination of this thesis poses the question of whether it is possible to use archaeological data in combination with theoretical approaches to mortuary practice, emotion and ontology to discuss experience at the graveside. The categories and type definitions of cemeteries and graves set out in this thesis form a suggested framework for the future analysis and publication of medieval graves from the region. The primary conclusions of this thesis are that a relational approach to archaeology allows for a greater engagement with the past at the level of the individual, and that the study of Byzantine mortuary practice has a considerable amount to contribute to questions of regionalisation and identity in the period. Finally, it is found that approaching mortuary practice from a symmetrical perspective and problematizing our understanding of Byzantine emotion enables a nuanced discussion of grief and mourning practices not accessible from the study of either the textual or the archaeological material alone.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available