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Agency, structure and environment
Author: Rick Peterson

The book studies Neolithic burial in Britain by focussing primarily on evidence from caves. It interprets human remains from forty-eight Neolithic caves and compares them to what we know of Neolithic collective burial elsewhere in Britain and Europe. It provides a contextual archaeology of these cave burials, treating them as important evidence for the study of Neolithic mortuary practice generally. It begins with a thoroughly contextualized review of the evidence from the karst regions of Europe. It then goes on to provide an up-to-date and critical review of the archaeology of Neolithic funerary practice. This review uses the ethnographically documented concept of the ‘intermediary period’ in multi-stage burials to integrate archaeological evidence, cave sedimentology and taphonomy. Neolithic caves and environments and the dead bodies within them would also have been perceived as active subjects with similar kinds of agency to the living. The book demonstrates that cave burial was one of the earliest elements of the British Neolithic. It also shows that Early Neolithic cave burial practice was very varied, with many similarities to other Neolithic burial rites. However, by the Middle Neolithic, cave burial had changed and a funerary practice which was specific to caves had developed.

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National and local contexts
Julie Rugg

3981 Churchyard and cemetery:Layout 1 3/7/13 08:46 Page 35 2 Burial in 1850: national and local contexts It is always tempting to view the beginning of any research period as a static point from which substantial change then takes place. No such claim is made here. Even from the 1820s, burial provision was in flux. Early in the decade, the economic viability of the joint-stock cemetery format had been firmly proved by the establishment of cemeteries in Manchester and Liverpool, and from the earliest years of Queen Victoria’s reign cemeteries were becoming

in Churchyard and cemetery
Modernisation and marginalisation (1984–92)
Andrew W.M. Smith

6 Burial or resurrection? Modernisation and marginalisation (1984–92) Just outside Carcassonne at 10 p.m. on 20 April 1984, around 100 ‘wine commandos’ gathered in the car park of a Leclerc supermarket.1 The swelling crowd was soon spotted in the darkness by the store’s night watchman. Concerned, he tried to challenge them. Their response, sporting balaclavas and with weapons in hand, was a gruff warning that the guard should disappear and lock up his guard dogs. No sooner had he retreated than the hooded men advanced on the empty store.2 With iron bars they

in Terror and terroir
The churchyard as cemetery
Julie Rugg

3981 Churchyard and cemetery:Layout 1 3/7/13 08:47 Page 284 9 ‘Being desirous of avoiding a burial board’1: the churchyard as cemetery The previous chapter has indicated how far statutory civil agencies prevaricated over the need to meet demand for additional burial space in rural areas. In central North Riding, all tiers of local government tended to look to the parochial church council to address any shortage of burial provision. Accordingly, churchyard extension was remarkably common in this area during the twentieth century. Indeed, there were at least

in Churchyard and cemetery
Ian Atherton

Battlefields, burials and the English Civil Wars Chapter 1 Battlefields, burials and the English Civil Wars Ian Atherton T he idea that ‘military care’ extends beyond death to the treatment of the war dead is not new, though the forms it has taken have varied over time. Roger Boyle’s 1677 military treatise advised a victorious general to look after the wounded and prisoners, and see ‘his Dead honourably buried’. Similar ideas can be found in a number of sixteenth-century military manuals, and can be traced back at least as far as the Graeco-Roman world.1

in Battle-scarred
A reflection of ‘militarisation’?
Susanne Brather-Walter

Merovingian period ‘row-grave cemeteries’ show a variety of burial furnishings. Men were equipped with belts and weapons, women with dress accessories and jewellery. Furthermore, graves contained ‘non-gendered’ objects such as vessels or furniture. Grave-goods assemblage additionally varied based on the age of the deceased, the location of their burial, and the point of time at which they had been buried. When weapons (sword, lance, bow and arrow, shield) and equestrian equipment (spurs, stirrups and saddle) are found only

in Early medieval militarisation
Joachim Neander

During the Second World War and its aftermath, the legend was spread that the Germans turned the bodies of Holocaust victims into soap stamped with the initials RIF, falsely interpreted as made from pure Jewish fat. In the years following liberation, RIF soap was solemnly buried in cemeteries all over the world and came to symbolise the six million killed in the Shoah, publicly showing the determination of Jewry to never forget the victims. This article will examine the funerals that started in Bulgaria and then attracted several thousand mourners in Brazil and Romania, attended by prominent public personalities and receiving widespread media coverage at home and abroad. In 1990 Yad Vashem laid the Jewish soap legend to rest, and today tombstones over soap graves are falling into decay with new ones avoiding the word soap. RIF soap, however, is alive in the virtual world of the Internet and remains fiercely disputed between believers and deniers.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Benoît Pouget

Based on a study of intersecting French archives (those of the Val de Grâce Hospital, the Service Historique de la Défense and the Archives Diplomatiques), and with the support of numerous printed sources, this article focuses on the handling of the bodies of French soldiers who died of cholera during the Crimean War (1854–56). As a continuation of studies done by historians Luc Capdevila and Danièle Voldman, the aim here is to consider how the diseased corpses of these soldiers reveal both the causes and circumstances of their deaths. Beyond the epidemiological context, these dead bodies shed light on the sanitary conditions and suffering resulting from years of military campaigns. To conclude, the article analyses the material traces left by these dead and the way that the Second Empire used them politically, giving the remains of leaders who died on the front lines of the cholera epidemic a triumphant return to the country and a state funeral.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Tradition and modernity in rural North Yorkshire
Author: Julie Rugg

This book reviews the burial history of central North Yorkshire. In exploring the social history of burial in rural areas, the book aims to encompass some of the principles underpinning 'l'histoire des mentalites'. The book considers the issue of churchyard closure. Churchyard closure generally signalled that burial space was made available elsewhere, and in most cases before 1894 this meant that the churchyard itself had been extended. The book reviews the incidence of churchyard extension, which was commonplace during the nineteenth century. The Burial Acts introduced legislation that permitted vestries to establish burial boards, which could raise loans repayable through the rates to fund the laying out of new cemeteries. In central North Riding, a total of eighteen burial boards were in operation before 1894, and the book reviews in detail the operation of the ten largest boards in that group. The Burial Acts maintained and even strengthened the hold of the Church of England on burial space, by substantially increasing the amount of consecrated land under its control. The book also addresses the contention that the new legislative context for burial in the twentieth century might then introduce the opportunity for a substantial centralisation of burial provision. Finally, the book reviews the pattern of burial provision in 2007 compared with 1850, and concludes that there is evidence of both continuity and change.

Jose López Mazz

This article will describe the contemporary scientific techniques used to excavate and identify the dead bodies of disappeared detainees from the Uruguayan dictatorship. It will highlight the developments that have led to increased success by forensic anthropologists and archaeologists in uncovering human remains, as well as their effects, both social and political, on promoting the right to the truth and mechanisms of transitional justice.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal