Grave Goods and the Ritual Expression of Identity

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:
Grave Goods and the Ritual Expression of Identity

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Some of the analytical deficiencies of mortuary studies were generated from the intrinsically interdisciplinary nature of evidence. Scholars have not always been aware of the limitations of the sources because they have had to utilize materials from fields other than their own to support their findings. Early medieval grave artifacts thought to have belonged to royalty have long attracted the attention of specialists in the disciplines of early medieval history, art history, and archaeology. Not only have rich finds linked to historical figures generated great interest among academics and curators, but they have also stirred the curiosity of a more general audience. However, promoting the material's appeal has meant focusing on lavish rather than representative examples of artifactual remains. These exceptional pieces have been the object of multiple inquiries and the subject of influential exhibitions; much of the resulting research has been highly reliable, although some has been less than methodologically sound.

Keywords: mortuary; art history; curators; artifactual remains; curiosity

Chapter.  21399 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical History

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