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The Emergent PastA Relational Realist Archaeology of Early Bronze Age Mortuary Practices$
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Chris Fowler

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199656370

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199656370.001.0001

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Theories as actants

Theories as actants

Translating mortuary practice

(p.68) 3 Theories as actants
The Emergent Past

Chris Fowler

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines various interpretations of Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age mortuary practices in North-East England. More specifically, it considers the key conceptual frameworks in circulation and their relational emergence in archaeology. It also explores how specific anthropological or sociological concepts affect the interpretations of antiquarians and archaeologists, as well as the kinds of references produced based on those foundations, including ethnic and cultural groups, elites and chiefs, prestige, and social differentiation based on age and sex. Furthermore, it analyses the patterns in deposition and monumentalisation of burial grounds founded in religious belief, along with the co-emergence of different relations, different materials and persons, things, and places. Finally, the chapter describes mortuary practices as transformations effected through rites of passage.

Keywords:   mortuary practices, Chalcolithic, Early Bronze Age, North-East England, archaeology, social differentiation, burial grounds, religious belief, rites of passage, persons

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