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date: 18 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The material culture of mortuary practices is one of the central sources at our disposal in the archaeological interpretation of past societies. The purpose of this chapter is thus to present a number of theoretical considerations deemed relevant to the study of grave goods. A short review of previous and contemporary approaches to grave goods is given, with a focus on perspectives informed by practice theory as well as ritual theory. From this a number of theoretical key points are established, leading to a discussion of the methodological implications prompted by them. A case study of a Late Roman Iron Age inhumation found in Skovgårde on Zealand (Denmark) is then analysed, with theoretical and methodological considerations as the point of departure.

Keywords: grave goods, meaning, ritual, practice theory, transformation, methodology

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