The Public Archaeology of Death - Howard Williams

The Public Archaeology of Death - Howard Williams

Death’s Drama: Mortuary Practice in Vikings Season 1–4

The Public Archaeology of Death - Howard Williams

Howard Williams [+-]
University of Chester
Howard Williams is Professor of Archaeology in the Department of History and Archaeology, University of Chester.

Description

Inspired by later medieval sagas and Viking Age historical sources, but underpinned and enriched by archaeological evidence and themes, the History channel’s Vikings (2013–) is a unique drama series exploring the late 8th/early 9th-century conflicts and culture of the Northmen, aimed at a global television audience. This chapter introduces the series and its varied portrayals of mortuary practice. From the portrayal of the deaths of chieftains and those slain in battle to family members and children, I identify key archaeological themes behind the depiction of death. This prompts discussion of mortuary archaeology’s influence on popular perceptions of the Early Middle Ages, the programme operating as education, entertainment but also reflecting on present-day anxieties over the nature of human mortality.

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Citation

Williams, Howard. Death’s Drama: Mortuary Practice in Vikings Season 1–4. The Public Archaeology of Death. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 155-182 Jan 2019. ISBN 9781781795934. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=34671. Date accessed: 14 Dec 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.34671. Jan 2019

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