Mortuary Ritual and Society: Some Theoretical Considerations
Priscilla Keswani [+]
This chapter discusses the ethnological foundations of mortuary analysis, the processual approach to mortuary variability as well as the objection raised by post-processualists against processualist mortuary theory. Moreover, it highlights the importance of examining multiple lines of evidence in interpreting the mortuary record, as well as the importance of understanding mortuary ritual as a dynamic cultural system. It also presents an important development in mortuary ritual that may be associated with increasing socioeconomic complexity, the systems of ‘dual obsequies’. It further discusses secondary treatment and collective burial as well as long-term variations in mortuary elaboration.