"The impressive geographical, temporal, and topical coverage makes this volume by far the best of its kind to appear in recent years."--George R. Milner, Pennsylvania State University
"A kaleidoscopic collection of studies with fascinating insights into the myriad and bizarre ways that our species has treated its dead ... global coverage of human interactions with our dead, past and present ...an indispensable reference for all scholars interested in death and burial."--Michael Parker Pearson, University of Sheffield
This collection explores the behavioral and social facets of funerary, mortuary, and burial rites in both past and present societies. By utilizing data from around the world and combining recent and ongoing concerns in anthropology, it takes the study of mortuary archaeology to a new and significant level of interdisciplinary research.
Drawing inspiration from ethnohistory, ethnography, bioarchaeology, and sociocultural anthropology, the authors focus on themes of gender, ancestorhood, ritual violence, individual agency, space and placement, and extended and secondary mortuary ceremonialism. They also expand the interdisciplinary focus of mortuary practices and reassess previous anthropological theories. No previously published work on the archaeology of mortuary remains presents such a range of examples of ritual practices through time and around the globe.
Because of its wide scope and interdisciplinary approach, Interacting with the Dead will be indispensable not only to archaeologists and anthropologists but also across the social sciences and humanities and to all who study cross-cultural rituals.
Gordon F. M. Rakita, assistant professor of anthropology at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, is coeditor of Style and Function: Conceptual Issues in Evolutionary Archaeology.
Jane E. Buikstra, Leslie Spier Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico, is the author or editor of several books, including The Bioarchaeology of Tuberculosis (UPF). Lane A. Beck, associate curator at the Arizona State Museum and associate professor of anthropology at the University of Arizona, is the editor of Regional Approaches to Mortuary Analysis. Sloan R. Williams, assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Illinois, has written extensively on the human genetics of ancient populations.
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"The book's integrated format and interesting case studies makes it an important contribution to funerary studies in the Old and New Worlds."
--International Journal of Osteoarchaeology