The recording of January’s UHI Archaeology Institute research seminar, which took place on Friday, January 28, 2022.
Grave goods – the objects interred with inhumation and cremation burials – provide some of the most eye-catching insights into personal identity and the subtleties of prehistoric lives. They glint from our museum shelves, adorn the covers of books and entice us to explore their stories. Although they derive from the ancient past, they also prompt us to think about death and burial in our own lives.
Grave matters: harnessing the enduring power of prehistoric grave goods presents newly published work from the AHRC Prehistoric Grave Goods project, with a key focus on evidence from Orkney and the Outer Hebrides – one of the six main case study areas.
Alongside spectacular museum-worthy objects like the Bronze Age Knowes of Trotty burial assemblage, Hugo Anderson-Whymark, Anwen Cooper and Melanie Giles emphasise the extent to which humbler objects – pots, pebbles, animal bones and so on – were equally meaningful, if often overlooked, elements of prehistoric burial practices.
They also introduce a set of initiatives developed over the last year aimed at opening up new opportunities for community groups and the general public to get involved in grave goods research and to build a stronger digital basis for future interpretations.
- Grave goods: objects and death in later prehistoric Britain: the newly published book mentioned in the seminar is available to download here.
- Bounday Objects Project