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By Roderick Sprague

With archaeological practices being as different because the cultures they examine, little strengthen has been made to standardize the nomenclature utilized in the Western medical global to explain the actual point of burial and other kinds of physique disposal, which might enable researchers to explain and accurately evaluate those certain and revealing practices. renowned archaeologist Roderick Sprague eventually provides a long-overdue and much-needed logical define of the variables that are supposed to be indexed to explain our bodies, grave items, and tombs, setting up common phrases for the archaeologists who excavate those burials. Drawing from examples and terminology in old archaeology, prehistory, ethnography, and forensic anthropology, this good illustrated, sensible, and elementary reference textual content should be essential to all researchers in those and similar fields.

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Extra resources for Burial Terminology: A Guide for Researchers

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The dominant population will never understand the damage done by the failure of NAGPRA to reverse the 500 years of burial desecration in North America. The contact of the living with the dead is very real and is based on a very different view of any afterlife. So-called ancestor worship is probably as active among the overseas Chinese as it is in much of China today, and in no way does the term “disposal of the dead” cover this example because the dead are always present and revered. For an accurate discussion of the place of the ancestors in Chinese culture today, see Chung and Wegars (2005).

The birthday of a dead person is called ming-shòu ‘longevity in the darkness’ (of the netherworld). This is only a sample of the relevant terminology. [Chinese characters can be found in the original] See Purnell (1993) for a more detailed discussion of Chinese as well as Japanese, Hawaiian, Samoan, and Tongan burials in Hawai’i. In addition, the Mexican American cemeteries, especially of California and Texas, have a rich literature showing the strong sense of continuing relationship of the living with the dead (Barber 1993).

It is less thorough in Latin America, eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. The area of biblical archaeology is the least searched subject area, followed by classical, except for more recently published work in Greece and Italy. The obvious use of European languages, in descending frequency of utilization, is English, German, Scandinavian as a group, Italian, and Spanish with virtually no French. It should also be noted that many more sources were inspected and not used than were used.

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