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date: 16 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter looks at the epistemic development of British burial archaeology up until the mid-20th century within the wider European context. It examines how prehistoric mortuary remains were harnessed to the cause of competing nationalist agendas and the growth of racial interpretations. The history of burial archaeology emerges as both a good barometer of contemporary social concerns and also a useful corrective to the kind of archaeological teleology that equates technological innovation with social progress.

Keywords: teleology, diffusion, craniometry, racial theories, invasion, British archaeology, barrow-openers, cultural archaeology

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