A recent trend in the field of archaeology is the inter- pretation of the relationship between the archaeo- logical remains of ancient funerary practices and the data discovered in the settlement proper. Archae- ologists have thus entered the research arena using an interpretative approach in which the materiality of the archaeological record of funerary practices appears as an invaluable indicator of the social actions performed by the living. In particular, an increasing number of studies have been dedicated to the investigation of the relationship between objects, places and memory in funerary contexts through the application of a social memory theoretical frame- work.1 Following this epistemological trajectory, I believe three important elements should be empha- sized in studying the relationship between the remains of ancient funerary practices and the settle- ment proper: first, an interpretation of the socioeco- nomic factors which influenced the physical location of graves in their relationship to the settlement proper; second, the role played by residential graves in reinforcing the transformation of a community’s socioeconomic organization; and third, the use of certain specific locales, such as residential graves, to frame and constitute the collective memory as well as the social practices of the household. In this article, I will thus focus my attention on defining the highly symbolic value of residential funerary chambers among Mesopotamian socie- ties between the late third and early second millen- nium BC. In so doing, I will use the social memory theoretical framework as a valuable investigative tool for understanding the important role played by residential graves2 in reinforcing and strengthening the lineages of ancient Mesopotamian families and, subsequently, for determining the tombs’ agency in structuring the socioeconomic landscape of a given society.

Locating the Social Memory of the Ancestors: Residential Funerary Chambers as Locales of Social Remembrance in Mesopotamia During the Late Third and Early Second Millennia BC

Laneri n
Methodology
2014

Abstract

A recent trend in the field of archaeology is the inter- pretation of the relationship between the archaeo- logical remains of ancient funerary practices and the data discovered in the settlement proper. Archae- ologists have thus entered the research arena using an interpretative approach in which the materiality of the archaeological record of funerary practices appears as an invaluable indicator of the social actions performed by the living. In particular, an increasing number of studies have been dedicated to the investigation of the relationship between objects, places and memory in funerary contexts through the application of a social memory theoretical frame- work.1 Following this epistemological trajectory, I believe three important elements should be empha- sized in studying the relationship between the remains of ancient funerary practices and the settle- ment proper: first, an interpretation of the socioeco- nomic factors which influenced the physical location of graves in their relationship to the settlement proper; second, the role played by residential graves in reinforcing the transformation of a community’s socioeconomic organization; and third, the use of certain specific locales, such as residential graves, to frame and constitute the collective memory as well as the social practices of the household. In this article, I will thus focus my attention on defining the highly symbolic value of residential funerary chambers among Mesopotamian socie- ties between the late third and early second millen- nium BC. In so doing, I will use the social memory theoretical framework as a valuable investigative tool for understanding the important role played by residential graves2 in reinforcing and strengthening the lineages of ancient Mesopotamian families and, subsequently, for determining the tombs’ agency in structuring the socioeconomic landscape of a given society.
978-3-447-10237-7
funerary rituals, Mesopotamia, Anatolia, archaeology
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/538600
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