By Ian Morris
The manager function of this e-book is to teach how burials can be utilized as a uniquely informative resource for Greek and Roman social historical past. Burials let a miles wider diversity of inference and perception than the literary texts produced by way of and for a slender social elite, and via learning them extensive Dr. Morris is ready to provide new interpretations of social switch in Graeco-Roman antiquity. the foremost interdisciplinary significance of the publication lies in its try and holiday down boundaries among archaeologists and historians of other societies and cultures.
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Additional info for Death-Ritual and Social Structure in Classical Antiquity (Key Themes in Ancient History)
Should we treat disposal of the corpse as an arbitrary signifier, useful only as yet another indication of sudden symbolic change, or does it need to be a central feature of our historical interpretation? 5. Demography The age and sex of burials can within limits be established, so one recurring question is how changes relate to age and sex. At Corinth, adults and children are treated much the same as each other and buried together after 750, although before then children often Dialogues with the dead 27 had richer grave goods.
Did the escalation affect all tombs, or only a certain proportion? Grave goods may have declined in the later empire, but just how much? Was it just the quantity that changed, or did their distribution change too? Vague impressions are useless; only accurate quantification will do. Sometimes statistical tests will show that the patterns scholars thought they saw are not really there at all, but quantification is not a substitute for historical thought: it is a method to clarify it. I suggest five axes along which we can range the evidence in searching for patterns and their significance.
Dialogues with the dead 25 about typology will restrict the range of patterns we can see, and so we have to be ready to modify what originally seemed like perfectly good classifications of our data in the light of the other axes of analysis. Often finding a suitable typology is the last as well as the first stage of a study. 2. Time To determine how social structures change through time is the goal at the theoretical level; and at the practical level, change through time is a crucial methodological tool.