Grave reopenings at the EAA 2018

EAA 2018
Members of the Grave Reopening research group will present various papers at the EAA 2018 in Barcelona:

INTERACTING WITH THE DEAD. BELIEF AND CONFLICT IN EARLY MEDIEVAL EUROPE (AD 450-750)
Klevnäs, Alison – Noterman, Astrid (Stockholm University) – Aspöck, Edeltraud (Austrian Academy of Sciences) – Haperen, Martine (Leiden University) – Zintl, Stephanie (Bayerisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege)

DEPOSITION, TRANSFORMATION, RETRIEVAL: THE VALUE OF OBJECTS FROM REOPENED GRAVES
van Haperen, Martine (Leiden University)

« FRANCE IS THE COUNTRY OF THE FRANKS ». CONSTRUCTION OF A NATIONAL IDENTITY THROUGH MEROVINGIAN BURIALS
Noterman, Astrid (Stockholm University; CESCM (UMR 7302)) – Klevnäs, Alison (Stockholm University)

Value and economics of grave reopenings

rural riches royal ragsMartine van Haperen recently published a short article with an ethnographic/economic perspective on grave reopenings in the festschrift presented to prof. dr. Frans Theuws for his 65th birthday.

‘Van Haperen M. (2018), Exchanges with the Dead: Economic Aspects of Reopening graves. In: M. Kars, R. van Oosten, M.A. Roxburgh, A. Verhoeven (eds.), Rural Riches & Royal Rags? Studies on medieval and modern archaeology, presented to Frans Theuws, 110-114.’

At the EAA 2018 in Barcelona, Van Haperen will also present a paper closely related to this subject, titled ‘Deposition, Transformation, Retrieval: the Value of Objects from Reopened Graves’.

Workshop in Hamburg

There will be a workshop in Hamburg on 10-11 November 2017, titled “Rest in peace? Burial grounds as spaces for non-funerary activities”, will look into just this: what else happened, or might have happened, in burial places, apart from people burying their deceased? As the program shows, the presentations cover a wide range both in regards to time and regions. Stephanie Zintl will talk about the reopening of early medieval graves and what these actions may tell us about the cemeteries’ role beyond being used for burying people; and will draw attention to newer research and ideas on what was traditionally only seen as “grave robbery”.

The workshop is organized by Daniela Hofmann and Robert Schumann at the University of Hamburg and is free of charge. If you want to attend please contact the organizers.

Reopened graves at the Sachsensymposion

In September 2017 Martine van Haperen and Alison Klevnäs attended the 68th Internationales Sachsensymposion, held this year in Canterbury, England. Alison presented a paper introducing the new research carried out by GRR network members on Merovingian-period grave reopening and was delighted to receive lots of useful feedback and new leads from the audience of early medievalists. Highlights (for reopening researchers) included Jean Soulat and Laure Pecqueur’s presentation of the burial grounds at Vicq which include a large number of disturbed burials, currently being investigated by Astrid Noterman.