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date: 20 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article demonstrates how landscapes carry the imprint of power and focuses on one of its most severe manifestations — capital punishment. A brief sketch is provided of judicial behaviour. The evidence from execution cemeteries is then given, exploring aspects such as their location and relationship to existing landscape features, and the range of burial types encountered within them. Further evidence for non-churchyard burial, such as isolated burials including those at crossroads, is also addressed and related to the central theme. Execution cemeteries often contain multiple burials. This article generally shows how archaeological evidence can make a substantial contribution to debates about aspects of society only usually approached using written evidence. It also illustrates that rather than highlighting divisions between the disciplines of archaeology and history, much can be gained by focusing on points of contact in a positive way.

Keywords: capital punishment, landscapes, power, judicial behavior, execution cemeteries, burials, crime, archaeology

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