Monday, October 26, 2009

What we leave with the dead and why....and more

Podcast from Thinking Allowed (BBC)

Laurie Taylor finds out about what we leave with the dead and why.

"From clothes to jewellery, photographs, hats, eye glasses, walking sticks, letters and even food, alcohol and tobacco, the objects mourners leave in the coffins and caskets of their loved ones tells us a huge amount about our attitudes to death and the rituals it involves.

Laurie talks to Sheila Harper, sociologist at the Centre for Death and Society at the University of Bath, whose new study about 'modern-day grave goods' uncovers the fascinating, touching and often moving examples of our gifts to the dead and why the objects we leave today are remarkably similar to the kinds of items uncovered by archaeologists in graves going back thousand of years.

Duncan Sayer, archaeologist from the Centre for Death and Society, discusses how human society has buried their dead.

Sheila Harper is an associate at the Centre for Death and Society at the University of Bath. Her PhD research focused on how mourners view the recently dead (in funeral establishments) and the ancient dead (in museums) in England and the United States. Sheila is also the Editorial Assistant for Mortality.

Paper: ‘I’m Glad She Has Her Glasses On. That Really Makes the Difference’ Grave Goods and Identity
By Sheila Harper

Duncan Sayer has PhD in Archaeology from the University of Reading. He has been a visiting lecturer at the Universities of Reading and Chester and is currently an associate lecturer at the University of Bath’s Centre for Death and Society."

Mortuary Practice and Social Identities in the Middle Ages
Sayer, D & Williams, H. (eds)
Publisher: University of Exeter Press
ISBN-10: 0859898318
ISBN-13: 978-0859898317

Have a listen

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