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date: 23 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter presents the burial of the dead as a key arena, like public and domestic space, for articulating status relationships. In mortuary rites distinctions of rank and resources were asserted through scale, materials, and symbolic resonance. With the benefit of new evidence for cremation process and from inhumation graves with good preservation of organic materials, this differentiation can be explored through the ritual sequence, including the laying out of the corpse and its treatment on the pyre, as well as in containers for the dead and in the number, variety and allusive properties of grave goods. In their generic character and their individual ‘biographies’ the latter linked burial to other occasions, ceremonial or convivial, when hierarchical relationships were manifested and reproduced. Combining evidence from inscriptions and sculpture and the in situ remains of markers also reveals differentiation among the dead in a form enduring long beyond the funeral.

Keywords: Roman Britain, burial, funeral, cremation, inhumation, status, coffin, monument, artefact

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