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Burial Writes: Graves, "Texts" And Time In Early Merovingian Northern Gaul

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines two methods of commemorating the dead in Merovingian north-eastern Gaul. It first of all considers the rite of furnished inhumation (burial with grave-goods), and then looks more briefly at the use of inscriptions. Whilst there are similarities between the two means of commemoration, there are also important differences, concerning the nature of social structure, and ideas of time. There are also significant differences in the precise way in which information about the deceased was conveyed. The importance of this way of perceiving the sixth-century furnished burial is that it compels us to see interment as an active process, involving a number of partiesperformers and audience. The Trier epitaphs are very interesting in that they often name the people who raised the tombstone. Study of this aspect supports some of the interpretations of lavish grave-goods.

Keywords: commemoration; grave-goods; Merovingian Northern Gaul; sixth-century furnished burial; Trier epitaph



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