Death Rituals, Social Order and the Archaeology of Immortality in the Ancient World
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Death Rituals, Social Order and the Archaeology of Immortality in the Ancient World : 'Death Shall Have No Dominion'

Edited by Lord Colin Renfrew , Edited by Michael Boyd , Edited by Iain Morley

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Modern archaeology has amassed considerable evidence for the disposal of the dead through burials, cemeteries and other monuments. Drawing on this body of evidence, this book offers fresh insight into how early human societies conceived of death and the afterlife. The twenty-seven essays in this volume consider the rituals and responses to death in prehistoric societies across the world, from eastern Asia through Europe to the Americas, and from the very earliest times before developed religious beliefs offered scriptural answers to these questions. Compiled and written by leading prehistorians and archaeologists, this volume traces the emergence of death as a concept in early times, as well as a contributing factor to the formation of communities and social hierarchies, and sometimes the creation of divinities.

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  • Hardback | 460 pages
  • 216 x 279 x 43mm | 1,672g
  • 31 Oct 2015
  • CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Cambridge
  • English
  • 163 b/w illus. 13 maps 7 tables
  • 1107082730
  • 9781107082731

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Author Information

Colin Renfrew (Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn) was formerly Disney Professor of Archaeology and Director of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at the University of Cambridge. He is author of many influential books on archaeology and prehistory, including, most recently, with Paul G. Bahn, The Cambridge World Prehistory (Cambridge University Press, 2014). Michael J. Boyd is a Senior Research Associate at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at the University of Cambridge. He is assistant director of the Keros Island Survey and coeditor of the Keros publications series. He is coeditor of a volume on funerary archaeology, Staging Death. Iain Morley is Lecturer in Palaeoanthropology and Human Sciences at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of St Hugh's College. He has published numerous articles and books, including Becoming Human: Innovation in Prehistoric Material and Spiritual Culture and Image and Imagination: A Global Prehistory of Figurative Representation (both coedited with Colin Renfrew), as well as The Prehistory of Music.

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