Cremation, Corpses and Cannibalism: Comparative Cosmologies and Centuries of Cosmic Consumption now available from Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Cambridge Scholars Publishing is pleased to announce the publication of Cremation, Corpses and Cannibalism: Comparative Cosmologies and Centuries of Cosmic Consumption by Anders Kaliff and Terje Oestigaard.
Death matters and the matters of death are initially, and to a large extent, the decaying flesh of the corpse. Cremation as a ritual practice is the fastest and most optimal way of dissolving the corpse’s flesh, either by annihilation or purification, or a combination. Still, cremation was not the final rite, and the archaeological record testifies that the dead represented a means to other ends – the flesh, and not the least the bones – have been incorporated in a wide range of other ritual contexts. While human sacrifices and cannibalism as ritual phenomena are much discussed in anthropology, archaeology has an advantage, since the actual bone material leaves traces of ritual practices that are unseen and unheard of in the contemporary world. As such, this book fleshes out a broader and more coherent understanding of prehistoric religions and funeral practices in Scandinavia by focusing on cremation, corpses and cannibalism.