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Article
Potted histories: cremation, ceramics and social memory in early Roman Britain,
Oxford Journal of Archaeology (2004)
  • Howard M. R. Williams, University of Chester
Abstract

Archaeologists have identified the adoption of new forms of cremation ritual during the early Roman period in south-east Britain. Cremation may have been widely used by communities in the Iron Age, but the distinctive nature of these new rites was their frequent placing of the dead within, and associated with, ceramic vessels. This paper suggests an interpretation for the social meaning of these cremation burial rites that involved the burial of ashes with and within pots as a means of commemoration. In this light, the link between cremation and pottery in early Roman Britain can be seen as a means of promoting the selective remembering and forgetting of the dead.

Keywords
  • Roman,
  • cremation,
  • food,
  • feasting,
  • cinerary urns
Publication Date
2004
Citation Information
Howard M. R. Williams. "Potted histories: cremation, ceramics and social memory in early Roman Britain," Oxford Journal of Archaeology Vol. 23 Iss. 4 (2004)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/howard_williams/20/