Grave matters: harnessing the enduring power of prehistoric grave goods (Anwen Cooper, University of Reading)

Grave goods – the objects interred with inhumation and cremation burials - provide some of the most eye-catching insights into personal identity and the subtleties of prehistoric lives. They glint from our museum shelves, adorn the covers of books and entice us to explore their stories. Although they derive from the ancient past, they also prompt us to think about death and burial in our own lives. Join the UHI Archaeology Institute seminar to hear more about this project by Hugo Anderson-Whymark (National Museums Scotland), Anwen Cooper (University of Reading), Melanie Giles (University of Manchester).

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Dr Ragnhild Ljosland
email: Ragnhild.Ljosland@uhi.ac.uk

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Grave matters: harnessing the enduring power of prehistoric grave goods (Anwen Cooper, University of Reading)

Grave goods are powerful and enduring objects. This talk presents newly published work from the AHRC Prehistoric Grave Goods project, with a key focus on evidence from Orkney and the Outer Hebrides – one of our six main case study areas. Alongside spectacular museum-worthy objects like the Bronze Age Knowes of Trotty burial assemblage, shown here in an evocative reconstruction created for the project by Kelvin Wilson, we emphasise the extent to which humbler objects – pots, pebbles, animal bones and so on – were equally meaningful, if often overlooked, elements of prehistoric burial practices. We will also introduce a set of initiative es developed over the last year with colleagues at Historic Environment Scotland and National Museums Scotland aimed at opening up new opportunities for community groups and the general public to get involved in the pleasures of grave goods research and to build a stronger digital basis for future interpretations.

Please be aware that we will record this talk and make it available online afterwards via archaeologyorkney.com. Only speakers, hosts and panellists will be captured on the recording.

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