In this book, Sarah Tarlow provides an innovative archaeology of bereavement, mortality and memory in the early modern and modern period. She draws on literary and historical sources as well as on material evidence to examine the evolution of attitudes towards death and commemoration over four centuries. The book argues that changes in commemorative practices over time relate to a changing relationship between the living and the dead and are inextricably linked to the conceptions of identity and personal relationships which characterize later Western history. The author's approach is different from most previous work in this area not only because of its focus on material culture but also because of its incorporation of experiential and emotional factors into discussions of human relations and understandings in the past. As well as introducing readers to the study of death and rememberance in the past, this book contributes to wider archaeological debates about the interpretation of meaning and the place of emotion and experience in archaeological study.
It will be of interest to all scholars and students interested in critical and theoretically informed approaches to the study of people in the past.