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By Howard Williams

How have been the useless remembered in early medieval Britain? initially released in 2006, this leading edge learn demonstrates how perceptions of the prior and the useless, and for this reason social identities, have been developed via mortuary practices and commemoration among c. 400-1100 advert. Drawing on archaeological proof from throughout Britain, together with archaeological discoveries, Howard Williams provides a clean interpretation of the importance of transportable artefacts, the physique, buildings, monuments and landscapes in early medieval mortuary practices. He argues that fabrics and areas have been utilized in ritual performances that served as 'technologies of remembrance', practices that created shared 'social' thoughts meant to hyperlink prior, current and destiny. throughout the deployment of fabric tradition, early medieval societies have been accordingly selectively remembering and forgetting their ancestors and their heritage. Throwing gentle on a major point of medieval society, this ebook is key examining for archaeologists and historians with an curiosity within the early medieval interval.

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Suggesting the possibility of a diffused set of burial foci on the ridge-top. Yet the central positioning of the burial within the earlier monument, its west–east orientation and its wealth suggest that this was the remains of a member of the Christianised West Saxon aristocracy. The grave was situated on a ridge with all-round views, its creators possibly selecting a prehistoric monument that was also well-placed to be visible from long-distance routeways noted by a later charter reference to a herepath (army road) traversing the ridge upon which the mound was situated.

The remainder of this introduction will pursue this idea through burial data, by first charting the broad trajectories of commemoration in early medieval Britain between the fifth and eleventh centuries AD, and secondly by exploring a single burial context to discuss how a mnemonic approach might help us to explain the material evidence we encounter. Remembering and forgetting in early medieval mortuary practices It is often tempting to assume that mortuary practices are among the most traditional and conservative aspects of any society, and with this view in mind, it would be expected that, for much of the past, we should find practices and traditions in disposing of the dead that are slow to change.

Remembering and forgetting in early medieval mortuary practices It is often tempting to assume that mortuary practices are among the most traditional and conservative aspects of any society, and with this view in mind, it would be expected that, for much of the past, we should find practices and traditions in disposing of the dead that are slow to change. 4 A schematic representation of some of the key elements of mortuary practices in early medieval Britain and their changing frequency over time (diagram by the author).

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