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Research Groningen Institute of Archaeology Research MARE - Mortuary Archaeology of the Roman East (Dutch Research Council – VICI) Projects

Rituals in space

Reconstructing funerary rituals

This PhD project focusses on the activities that occurred in the space of the tomb, from the first burial and post-burial actions, to its closure or abandonment. Through the analysis of the spatial setting, grave gifts, and human remains, the different steps in funerary rituals are reconstructed. This will give insights into the shared beliefs that the communities drew on in the care for the dead. This research builds a framework in which the fragmented materials of the Roman Near East can be inserted. It addresses the project’s main question by outlining how people interacted with the dead through ritual actions, and the extent to which the new tomb elements altered these practices.

The sample comes from Coastal Lebanon and Pisidia, where tombs were excavated containing human remains, fragments of wooden coffins and shrouds, and gravegoods.

Researcher: John Turco 

Roman-period Tombstone depicting the deceased woman reclining on a couch. Source: British Museum.
Last modified:06 September 2022 10.03 a.m.