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From the dead to the living - death as transactions and re-negotiations
University of Kalmar, School of Human Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4640-8784
Bergen University.
2006 (English)In: Norwegian Archaeological Review, ISSN 0029-3652, E-ISSN 1502-7678, Vol. 39, no 1, p. 27-48Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Apart from eschatological aspects, death is more important for the living than the dead. It is argued that funerals are one of the most important settings for recreating society through the re‐establishment of alliances. When an important person dies, his or her former social relations and alliances come to an end and have to be re‐established from a societal point of view. At funerals not only are gifts given to the deceased, but it is equally important that the ritual participants make new alliances and re‐negotiate old ones by the exchange of gifts. Thus, the distributions of artefacts, or the construction of different funeral monuments, are here seen as the outcome of such transactions. By emphasising transactions and re‐negotiations of alliances in different funerals we argue that the distribution of prestige goods in Europe is not only part of trade or warfare. Exchange of gifts and prestige items as part of reciprocal relations was crucial in the structuring of inter‐regional areas. Funerals were such occasions where the descendants and the living could legitimate future hierarchies by transferring the deceased's social status and power to themselves by re‐negotiating former alliances and creating new ones. ‘Change equals death’ (Woody Allen)

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oslo: Universitetsforlaget , 2006. Vol. 39, no 1, p. 27-48
National Category
Archaeology
Research subject
Humanities, Archaeology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-11033DOI: 10.1080/00293650600703928OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-11033DiVA, id: diva2:402162
Available from: 2011-03-07 Created: 2011-03-07 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved

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Goldhahn, Joakim

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CiteExportLink to record
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  • apa
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  • de-DE
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  • en-US
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  • nn-NB
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Output format
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  • asciidoc
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