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Urban And Rural Funerary Practices In Early Medieval Illyricum. Some General Considerations

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Chapter Summary

One recent archaeological and anthropological project is focused on the study of the early medieval population in the territory corresponding to present-day Albania. This project takes into consideration the biological and social composition of the population, the topographical relationship of the cemeteries with urban and rural sites, as well as the evolution of mortuary practices. This paper focuses on a number of coastal towns and their hinterlands, which are well documented and where the characteristics of this period can be traced. Another phenomenon observable from the sixth century onwards is the fragmentation of urban funerary space into several new cemeteries which surrounded the cities, close to the fortification walls. The understanding of the ways in which people living in the countryside perceived death, and the relationships between the dead and the living, require good knowledge of their settlement patterns, dwellings and common space.

Keywords: early medieval population; mortuary practices; rural site; settlement patterns; urban site



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