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06 February 2014

EAA 2014 Session Organisation


Due to the big success of our CAPA-ACAP 2013 Symposium, we are organising a similar session for the 20th EAA Annual Meeting in 2014 at Istanbul (10-14 September).

T06 Retrieving and interpreting the archaeological record

T06S026 The Odd, the Unusual, and the Strange: Human and Animal Deviant Burials and their Cultural Contexts

Names : Anastasia Tsaliki, Tracy Betsinger, Amy Scott Titles : PhD, PhD, MA

 Deviant burials provide an opportunity to gain invaluable insight to cultural constructions of outsiders, non-conformers, or “others” of different kinds. Sometimes, individuals who were viewed as “extraordinary”, either in life or in death, were given unusual burials, reflecting their special status. These burials are identified in the archaeological record by evidence of different or unusual burial rites to those common in the given social group, segregated inhumations/cremations, unexpected burial accompaniments, or alterations to the corpse. While deviant burials are primarily focused on specific individuals within a community, they reflect larger social values of how the living choose to bury the dead and what is considered a deviant or special status within a group. Highlighting deviant burials in a session format would provide a unique opportunity to explore these case studies and the common elements that unite these burials across different geographic and temporal landscapes. We will discuss a variety of cases, from European revenants to mass graves and decapitations in China, showing the challenges they pose towards a careful retrieval and interpretation of the archaeological record, not only through traditional archaeology, but also through a multidisciplinary approach which combines archaeology with biological anthropology, sociology, zoology and environmental science.


Paper submission is now closed. We have received loads of interesting papers - thanks to all those who have sent us their abstracts.