Death and Commemoration

Dit vak wordt in het Engels aangeboden. Omschrijvingen kunnen daardoor mogelijk alleen in het Engels worden weergegeven.

Doel vak

The aim of this course is to become familiar with the variety of ways in
which peoples dealt with death, burial and remembrance and to acquire
insight in the ways burials provide archaeological information on past
societies. Since the subject reaches further than the archaeology as a
discipline, the purpose is to include a historic, art-historic, cultural
anthropological and sociologic point of view and to approach funerary
archaeology from an interdisciplinary perspective. Furthermore, this
course aims to familiarize students with the use (possibilities and
limitations) of the sources and methods used by these various
Students will acquire a critical knowledge and understanding of the
theoretical background to burial practices. Furthermore the course aims
to train students in the use of methodologies that focus on the
relations between the burial record and the evidence of the living
society. On completion of the module students will have acquired a
series of analytical tools which enables them to reflect critically on
the specific nature of both worlds and on the particularities that
combine them or set them apart.

Inhoud vak

Through the study of grave sites and burial customs we are able to get
an idea of prevalent ideas about death in past societies and about how
people were remembered in their communities. Grave sites and burial
rituals at the same time provide a window for gaining insight into past
societies, including their political, economic and social organization
and cultural exchange with other societies. In order to acquire a better
understanding of the societies under study the ways the dead were
treated will be studied in relation to the material record of the living


Lectures, seminars and discussions based on assigned readings with
meetings two times a week (2 x 2 hours).
The course consists of three distinct parts:
1. classes based on the handbook and assigned literature followed by
2. an assignment for each student in which a specific theme, grave or
cemetery is treated with the application of the
theoretical framework discussed during the classes. This has to result
in a presentation and a paper
3. Written exam at the end of the course

Presence during class is compulsory. Absence in case of illness should
be notified by mail, preferably before class.


Discussion of assigned literature (10%)
Presentations using Power Point (10%)
Paper (40%)
Written exam (40%)


Parker Pearson, M. The archaeology of death and burial (1999, Phoenix
Mill: Sutton Publishing).
Specific chapters or articles will be disseminated through the CANVAS


Third year students Ba Archaeology.

Overige informatie

The first class will be held on location at the New Eastern Cemetery
(Nieuwe Oosterbegraafplaats) in Amsterdam

Algemene informatie

Vakcode L_AABAARC302
Studiepunten 6 EC
Periode P4
Vakniveau 300
Onderwijstaal Engels
Faculteit Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen
Vakcoördinator prof. dr. M. Gnade
Examinator prof. dr. M. Gnade
Docenten E. Smits
dr. J.G. Aarts
prof. dr. M. Gnade

Praktische informatie

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