Transforming the dead

Shirley J. Schermer, Eve A. Hargrave, Kristin M. Hedman, Robin M. Lillie

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Across the world and through time, interactions between the dead and the living have been integral parts of cultures. The beliefs that souls exist, that attributes of the dead survive physical death, and that the dead have the potential to help or hurt the living—all are among the perceptions of life and death that dictate how the dead are treated and whether the deceased is venerated or desecrated. In The Illyrians: History and Culture, Aleksandar Stipčević (1977:231) provides the following vivid description of mourners at tumuli: “over the grave the mourners would eat and drink, believing that contact was thus established between themselves and the departed; they maintained that the dead person never ceased to be their kin, and his relatives would continue to take care of him and help him in trouble.”
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTransforming the Dead
Subtitle of host publicationCulturally Modified Bone in the Prehistoric Midwest
Place of PublicationTuscaloosa, AL
PublisherUniversity of Alabama Press
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780817388096
ISBN (Print)9780817318611
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • ISAS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities


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