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Acts of estrangement. The post-mortem making of self and other

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 August 2009

Abstract

The histories of post-mortem intervention in 18th- and 19th-century Britain illustrate how the relationships within which the dead were located affected their post-mortem treatment and were reproduced through it. This paper explores how traditions of marking social distinctions among the dead have been incorporated into archaeological practice, tracing some of the ways in which relationships between the dead and the living define the nature and tone of post-mortem interventions. This history suggests that the conditions within which people are produced as dead bodies through archaeological practice are at present poorly understood, and, as such, I contribute some notes towards a relational understanding of this production.

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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2009

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