Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Ancient burial rituals prove you can take it with you ... and what you take says a lot

Research on ancient burial tombs unlocks the mysteries of pre-Roman social status and cultural change, including urbanization, militarism and even likely shifts in drinking patterns.

This image shows a 4th century assemblages with fine Greek vases, banquet implements and metal weapons.

Death is inevitable, but what death shows us about the social behaviors of the living is not.
And recent University of Cincinnati research examining the ancient bereavement practices from the the Central Apulian region in pre-Roman Italy helps shed light on economic and social mobility, military service and even drinking customs in a culture that left no written history.
For instance, by focusing on the logistics of burials, treatment of deceased bodies and grave contents dating from about 525-200 BC, UC Classics doctoral student Bice Peruzzi found indication of strong social stratification and hierarchy. She also found indications of the commonality of military service since men's tombs of the era routinely contained metal weaponry lying across or near the skeletal remains.
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