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Title: Remembrance and the Dead in Second Millennium BC Mesopotamia
Authors: MacDougal, Renata
Supervisors: Edwards, David
Award date: 1-Sep-2014
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: This thesis uses Continuing Bonds Theory to reinterpret kispum, an ancient Mesopotamian family funerary practice, in a new way. Traditional scholarship has portrayed the purpose of the ritual as apotropaic, and that the family dead are feared as hostile ghosts. This study suggests that profound beliefs about life and death in Mesopotamia, and interactions between the family and deceased loved ones can be found in the material and textual evidence. A new perspective focusing on evidence from the second millennium BC in ancient Mesopotamia is used to investigate the kispum ritual using ideas from the archaeology of emotion and Death and Dying studies. Current understandings based on textual based studies and the varied traditions of archaeological investigation are introduced in Chapter 2. Then, using notions of continued bonds, new insights are explored to better understand the ongoing relationship between the living and the dead. In Chapters 3 through 6 textual sources and archaeological evidence are assessed against this background, and against each other, with attempts to correlate textual with archaeological details. In the context of ancient Mesopotamia, this thesis employs new approaches to mortuary archaeology to provide new insights suggesting ways that conventional methods may be enhanced. Finally, this study also brings us back to an archaeology of death which is interested in attitudes toward the dead.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: PhD
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Theses, School of Archaeology and Ancient History
Leicester Theses

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