Introduction: The space and place of death

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Archaeologists typically study death from the perspective of mortuary patterns, devising classifications of disposal facilities and their dead inhabitants along parameters such as technique and materials of tomb construction, position and orientation of the deceased, and paleobiology of the interred populations. From this information a society’s organization and level of sociopolitical complexity is reconstructed. Less common among archaeologists is attention to the spatiality of death practice, the unifying focus of this volume. Archaeologists are concerned with issues such as the siting of mortuary facilities; the interplay of agency and expressive style in the funerary context as these relate to the physical space and taking place of mortuary custom; and the recognition, cultural reconstruction, and explanation of death landscapes. These perspectives provide a more holistic framework for achieving an ethnographically sensitive archaeology of death. The studies in this volume range widely in areal location, cultural and temporal focus, and theoretical approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalArcheological Papers of the American Anthropological Association
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology


Dive into the research topics of 'Introduction: The space and place of death'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this