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Book: The Public Archaeology of Death

Chapter: Dead Relevant: Introducing the Public Archaeology of Death

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.34661


Introducing the ten chapters of the book which each explore different dimensions of the public archaeology
of death, this introduction asks: why and how are the archaeologically derived traces of human remains and mortuary monuments “dead relevant”? In other words, how has mortuary archaeology, from catacombs to cremated remains, come to enthral and gain significance in contemporary society, and how does it continue to do so? Considering the diversity of archaeological field investigation, curation and display in museums, contestation and dialogues between archaeologists, stakeholders and descendent communities, and the publications and popular receptions of the archaeological dead in the arts, literature and media, as well as via ancient monuments and historic landscapes, the public archaeology of death is a vibrant field of future research.

Chapter Contributors

  • Howard Williams ( - howardwilliams) 'University of Chester'