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Kate Harrell
Jan Driessen

Breaking Up the Past

Patterns of Fragmentation in Early and Middle Bronze Age Tholos Tomb Contexts in Crete1

Giorgos Vavouranakis et Chryssi Bourbou

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Burials, their contents and their settings are used by communities in meaningful manners. Funerary ritual, though charged with human emotion, is performed with intentional and decisive effort. When people dispose of their dead, they conduct a series of planned activities within a particular setting, often leaving behind traces of these actions that can be recovered through careful investigation. The materials and spaces employed in ritual are suffused with multiple meanings that express, amplify, or even contradict the concerns and interests of the living community. The link between death and the notion of finality results in the inherent relation between funerary ritual and acts of intentional deconstruction and destruction. Keith Branigan’s (1987) seminal paper on Early and Middle Minoan tholos tombs distinguishes five different ways of human interference with skeletal remains, namely clearance, fumigation, selected grouping, selected removal, breaking or chopping. Similarly, the ...


Lecturer in Archaeology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

Researcher in archaeology at the 28th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities of Chania

© Presses universitaires de Louvain, 2015

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