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Title: The materiality and spatiality of graves and grave markers in the border region between Luxembourg and Germany
Author: Streb, Christoph Klaus
ISNI:       0000 0004 9355 1273
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2019
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This PhD thesis is the partial result of the research project entitled "Material Culture and Spaces of Remembrance – A Study of Cemeteries in Luxembourg in the Context of the Greater Region", under the coordination and supervision of Dr. Thomas Kolnberger and Associate Professor Sonja Kmec at the University of Luxembourg, and funded by the Fonds National de la Recherche (FNR). Building on prior, seminal research, this thesis aims to address the following questions concerning a specific, predefined region between Luxembourg and Germany, and selected cemeteries: • Does the research approach demonstrated from Anglo-American literature also apply to the sample in the border region between Luxembourg and Germany? • Does the analysis of materiality within its spatial context provide indications of a neighbouring effect, i.e. do material characteristics appear in spatial clusters? • With regards to the materiality that can be observed at the selected cemeteries, what might explain the specific appearance of, especially, graves and grave markers; i.e. what factors, such as cemetery regulations or stonemasons, might have had an influence? Based on a pilot project at Walferdange (Luxembourg) cemetery, as well as a specifically developed and designed data collection approach and tool, the author of this thesis collected the data from full populations of grave and grave marker material culture at three additional, selected cemeteries in Luxembourg and Germany, i.e. Wormeldange, Wincheringen and Konz, in order to allow an analysis of the present assemblage, reaching back into the late 19th century. The data gained thus were analysed using statistical and geo-spatial methods. The results of this data collection and analysis indicate the following: similar methods compared to, for example, work in the Anglo-American context, can generally be applied; since materiality of funeral culture shows a certain level of fluctuation and volatility over time in this specific research context, the researcher has to be careful in order to ensure appropriate dating; results in a chronologically limited data set in which also accurate spatiality cannot be ensured. Whileclusters of materiality can be identified visually, they do not in all instances produce stable results during statistical testing. Thus, a neighbouring effect cannot in all cases be supported and needs to be critically questioned in the face of different tactical confidence intervals. Moreover, potential cultural differences and differences in cemetery management, manifested for example in cemetery regulations, are not enough to explain the actual materiality and spatiality that can be found on the researched cemeteries. The author uses additional literature from business studies and economics in order to highlight a different approach in historical archaeological research in understanding grave monument genesis, their explanatory power and studying related phenomena in the future, hypothesizing about business related aspects in the interrelationship between stonemasons and their customers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available