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date: 19 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter investigates a theme in recent archaeological investigations of death, memory, and material culture. I contrast how material culture was deployed to make commemorative ‘citations’ in past mortuary practices from those that operated as commemorative ‘catalysts’. The latter, often comprising of modest materials and substances, have often been overlooked in studies of mortuary variability and significance, particularly their roles in post-cremation burial practices. To illustrate my argument, I present four case studies from the archaeology of cremation in the later 1st millennium AD. In doing this, I explore the contextual and variable commemorative deployment of material culture to enable the transformation of the dead and the making of ancestors.

Keywords: commemoration, cremation, early medieval, memory, mythology, technologies

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