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UMMA Brown Bag Series: “Glory Paid to Our Ashes”: The Internal Excavation of Cinerary Urns from Isola Sacra

Thursday, November 8, 2012
12:00 AM
2009 Ruthven Museum

This presentation will discuss the excavation of cinerary urns from the site of Isola Sacra, outside of the Rome, Italy. This work was part of a larger examination of the nature of mortuary sites with co-occurrence of burial forms, specifically cremation and inhumation. Cremation and inhumation are generally interpreted as representing different cultural and religious traditions that vary by population or time. Therefore, co-occurrence of these burial forms potentially indicates cultural and social differences of individuals interred. With a lack of research on cremation and co-occurrences of different mortuary forms, sites having these characteristics have been understudied. However, such sites deserve attention in order to create more nuanced interpretations of mortuary behavior. While the excavation was revealing, it was more informative as to the nature of early archaeological work and the problem of cremation research, rather than the initial study question regarding co-occurrence. 

Katy Meyers, Michigan State University