Remembering the Dead in the Ancient Near East: Recent Contributions from Bioarchaeology and Mortuary Archaeology
Porter, Benjamin and Alexis Boutin, editors
Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2014 pp. xv + 261. $70.00
Description: Remembering the Dead in the Ancient Near East is among the first comprehensive treatments to present the diverse ways in which ancient Near Eastern civilizations memorialized and honored their dead, using mortuary rituals, human skeletal remains, and embodied identities as a window into the memory work of past societies. In six case studies teams of researchers with different skill sets—osteological analysis, faunal analysis, culture history and the analysis of written texts, and artifact analysis—integrate mortuary analysis with bioarchaeological techniques. Drawing upon different kinds of data, including human remains, ceramics, jewelry, spatial analysis, and faunal remains found in burial sites from across the region's societies, the authors paint a robust and complex picture of death in the ancient Near East. Demonstrating the still under explored potential of bioarchaeological analysis in ancient societies, Remembering the Dead in the Ancient Near East serves as a model for using multiple lines of evidence to reconstruct commemoration practices. It will be of great interest to students and scholars of ancient Near Eastern and Egyptian societies, the archaeology of death and burial, bioarchaeology, and human skeletal biology.
Subjects: Ancient Near East, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, History of Religions, Archaeology
Review by Kristine Henriksen Garroway
Citation: Kristine Henriksen Garroway, review of Benjamin Porter and Alexis Boutin, eds., Remembering the Dead in the Ancient Near East: Recent Contributions from Bioarchaeology and Mortuary Archaeology, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2018).
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