Bonnie Effros

in Merovingian Mortuary Archaeology and the Making of the Early Middle Ages

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2003 | ISBN: 9780520232440
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520928183 | DOI:

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American scholars have regularly included mortuary remains in their research on Merovingian religion and society since the 1970s. Prior to that, most medievalists neglected archaeological evidence from burial sites in favor of more familiar historical and documentary sources. From a European standpoint, this oversight was dismissed as popular distaste in the United States for studies linked to death. Lack of attention to important studies of Merovingian mortuary titles was thus not generally surprising. A complete discussion of Merovingian mortuary remains means that multiple methods and sources have had to be used here. The book's approach reflects the desire to maintain the integrity of the fragmentary evidence apart from the artificial divisions created by modern academic disciplines and national borders. This discussion provides an overview of the ways in which many features of grave sites, such as their content, size, orientation, and location, fulfilled representational functions.

Keywords: Merovingian; European; mortuary; orientation; medievalist

Chapter.  4125 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical History

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