A variety of images are employed in the archaeological interpretation of past mortuary practices, including plans, sections, photographs and artists’ reconstructions of graves and funerary scenes. Addressing early Anglo-Saxon furnished inhumation graves, I argue that the role of images in archaeological interpretations requires both greater recognition and critical appraisal in the archaeology of death and burial. The paper questions an exclusive focus on early Anglo-Saxon furnished inhumation graves as symbolic texts and visual displays because this view is overdependent upon a snapshot impression of funerals as static displays derived from archaeological conventions of grave-recording and perpetuated in many artists’ and museums’ reconstructions of graves and funerals. The relationships between images of early Anglo-Saxon graves and modern perceptions of death and mortality are also appraised.
- early medieval,
- mortuary practice,
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/howard_williams/46/