OIS 3. Performing Death: Social Analyses of Funerary Traditions in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean Nicola Laneri, ed., with contributions by Nicola Laneri, Ellen F. Morris, Glenn M. Schwartz, Robert Chapman, Massimo Cultraro, Meredith S. Chesson, Alessandro Naso, Adam T. Smith, Dina Katz, Seth Richardson, Susan Pollock, Ian Rutherford, John Pollini, John Robb, and James A. Brown

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This volume represents a collection of contributions presented by the authors during the Second Annual University of Chicago Oriental Institute Seminar “Performing Death. Social Analyses of Funerary Traditions in the Ancient Mediterranean,” held at the Oriental Institute, February 17–18, 2006. The principal aim of the two-day seminar was to interpret the social relevance resulting from the enactment of funerary rituals within the broad-reaching Mediterranean basin from prehistoric periods to the Roman age. Efforts were concentrated on creating a panel composed of scholars with diverse backgrounds – anthropologists, historians, archaeologists, art historians, and philologists – and the knowledge and expertise to enrich the discussion through the presentation of case-studies linked to both textual and archaeological evidences from the Mediterranean region. Fundamental to the successful realization of this research process was the active dialogue between scholars of different backgrounds. These communicative exchanges provided the opportunity to integrate different approaches and interpretations concerning the role played by the performance of ancient funerary rituals within a given society and, as a result, helped in defining a coherent outcome towards the interpretation of ancient communities’ behaviors.

  1. An Archaeology of Funerary Rituals. Nicola Laneri, University of Chicago
  2. Sacrifice for the State: First Dynasty Royal Funerals and the Rites at Macramallah’s Rectangle. Ellen F. Morris, Columbia University
  3. Status, Ideology, and Memory in Third-millennium Syria: “Royal” Tombs at Umm el-Marra. Glenn M. Schwartz, Johns Hopkins University
  4. Mortuary Rituals, Social Relations, and Identity in Southeast Spain in the Late Third to Early Second Millennia B.C. Robert Chapman, University of Reading
  5. Combined Efforts till Death: Funerary Ritual and Social Statements in the Aegean Early Bronze Age. Massimo Cultraro, CNR-IBAM, Italy
  6. Remembering and Forgetting in Early Bronze Age Mortuary Practices on the Southeastern Dead Sea Plain, Jordan. Meredith S. Chesson, University of Notre Dame
  7. Etruscan Style of Dying: Funerary Architecture, Tomb Groups, and Social Range at Caere and Its Hinterland during the Seventh–Sixth Centuries B.C. Alessandro Naso, University of Molise, Italy
  8. The Politics of Loss: Comments on a Powerful Death. Adam T. Smith, University of Chicago
  9. Sumerian Funerary Rituals in Context. Dina Katz, Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten, Leiden
  10. Death and Dismemberment in Mesopotamia: Discorporation between the Body and Body Politic. Seth Richardson, University of Chicago
  11. Death of a Household. Susan Pollock, Binghamton University
  12. Achilles and the Sallis Wastais Ritual: Performing Death in Greece and Anatolia. Ian Rutherford, University of Reading
  13. Ritualizing Death in Republican Rome: Memory, Religion, Class Struggle, and the Wax Ancestral Mask Tradition’s Origin and Influence on Veristic Portraiture. John Pollini, University of Southern California
  14. session three: archaeology of funerary rituals: a Theoretical approach
  15. Burial Treatment as Transformations of Bodily Ideology. John Robb, Cambridge University
  16. Mortuary Practices for the Third Millennium: 1966–2006. James A. Brown, Northwestern University
  17. Concluding Discussion
  • Oriental Institute Seminars 3
  • Chicago: The Oriental Institute, 2007 (second printing with minor corrections, 2008)
  • ISBN: 1-885923-50-3
  • Pp. xviii + 318; 86 figures; 5 tables
  • Softcover 7 × 10 in
  • $24.95