Mortuary Practices: Their Social, Philosophical-Religious, Circumstantial, and Physical Determinants Author(s): Christopher Carr Reviewed work

(s): Source: Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, Vol. 2, No. 2 (Jun., 1995), pp. 105-200 Published by: Springer Stable URL: . Accessed: 26/04/2012 14:44
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of Archaeological





2, No.

2, 1995

Mortuary Practices: Their Social, Circumstantial, Philosophical-Religious, Determinants Physical
Christopher Carr1


in its paradigmatic out Recent, mainstream, American mortuary archaeology, and case studies, has empha look, middle-range theory, analytic methodology, as the primary factor sized social organization that determines mortuary and social science traditions have recog practices. Broader anthropological nized philosophical-religious beliefs as additional, important determinants. The historical roots of mortuary archaeology's focus on the social, and the conse is reviewed Then, through a Human quence of this on theory development, Relations Area Files (HRAF) cross-cultural survey, the kinds of philosophical and physical factors that affect circumstantial, religious, social organizational, specific kinds of mortuary practices, and the relative importance of these fac The data are also used to test basic premises that mor tors, are documented use today to reconstruct social organization. A tuary archaeologists routinely balanced, more holistic, and multidisciplinary approach, which considers many kinds of causes beyond social ones, is found necessary to interpret mortuary remains and to reconstruct the past from them.
KEY WORDS: ganization. mortuary archaeology; mortuary practices; ideology; archaeology of social or

studies By far the most common focus of recent American archaeological of cemeteries and burials has been the reconstruction of mortuary practices. In turn, archaeologists have used these practices to infer a great diversity of These include past cultural, behavioral, ecological, and historical phenomena. social organization et aL 1981), his (Braun, 1979; Brown, 1971a; Chapman,
department of Anthropology, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287.

im-S369t9S/06OMlQS$ff7J5Q? O 1995 Plenum Publishing Corporation

106 torical trends in socioeconomic as expressive styles (Cannon,


that involves mortuary practices competition Little et al., 1992), trade and alliances 1989;

(Abbott and Howard, 1991;Carr, 1992;Carr andMaslowski, 1995; Trigger, 1969;Winters 1968), territoriality (Chapman, 1981),warfare (Owsley et al.,
1977; Ravesloot, 1988; Seeman, 1982a, 1984; McGuire, beliefs and world cal-religious (Hodder, (Brunson, 1989), ideology 1988), migrations and philosophi 1992; Pearson, 1982,1984), views (Emerson, 1989; Gruber, 1971; Hall, rigor to infer patterns of social interaction 1979), although this approach was applied in this century (e.g., Webb and Snow,

1979, 1983;Merbs, 1989; Penney, 1983, 1985; Sugiyama, 1992). Mortuary
practices have also been used with and cultural affinity (e.g., Seeman, more commonly and coarsely


1945;Willey and Sabloff, 1980, pp. 34-126). Broader bioarchaeological ap
information, proaches, which combine skeletal biological plus archaeological and eco have allowed these subjects as well as a wider range of biological logical topics to be investigated (e.g., Blakely, 1977; Buikstra, 1977; Chapman et al., 1982; Ortner and Put and Randsborg, 1981, pp. 19-23; Huss-Ashmore schar, 1981; Price et al., 1985; Ubelaker, 1989). in the the late 1960s and 1980s, it came to be accepted Between that the mortuary archaeology thought and practice of much of American in mortuary of variation practices and burial form is primary determinant social organization 1971, pp. 7, 16, 23; Rothschild, 1979, p. (e.g., Binford, and physical constraints T?inter, 1978, p. 107). Circumstantial upon 660; were also used to explain burial variations. In contrast, mortuary practices beliefe and world views lost socially institutionalized, philosophical-religious Beliefs in the study of mortuary relevance academic practices during this period. were deemphasized in paradigmatic outlook, middle-range theory, in American and case studies. Currently mortuary analytic methodology, beliefs and world views are not well philosophical-religious archaeology, as to how and how much and understood they affect mortuary practices, as worthy, and perhaps feasible, research have only begun to reemerge top ics (e.g., David, 1992; Hodder, 1992; Pearson, 1982a, 1984; McGuire, 1982,

1984; Sugiyama, 1992).
This paper has two purposes. The first and most central is to affirm beliefs in the study and inter the essential place of philosophical-religious eth of mortuary practices and remains. Through a cross-cultural pretation the kinds survey using the Human Relations Area Files (HRAF), nographic of social organizational, physical, and circumstan philosophical-religious, tial factors (and to a limited extent the ecological factors) that affect various are documented. The social factors that are kinds of mortuary practices considered that have of social organization here include the "dimensions" been studied in American mortuary age, gender, ver archaeology: typically and personal identities. The philo social positions, tical and horizontal

including mortuary practices. pirical support. philosophical-religious ideas. more holistic. Examples about cal-religious the kinds of mortuary practices and forms that indicate vertical and hori of cemetery and grave loca and the determinants social positions. which these kinds of causal factors operate cross-culturally frequency with and the variation in their balance with sociopolitical complexity. Rather. and multidiscipli the study. It suggests how calf. zontal in this article is Hertz's (1907) premise. Philosophi of intra factors are found to explain a significant proportion cal-religious across cultures. tors yet to be studied. and cause of death. social. remains and to reconstruct the past from is required to interpret mortuary them.. 1979). The aim of this survey is not to support or refute any particular para societal to beliefe and mortuary of society or its relationships social factors. beliefe can determine mortuary philosophical-religious practices directly and independently rather than simply as a symbolic of social organization. the soul. philosophical-religious. In particular. physical manipulation thus far (e. timing. such as requirements the relative and access to the body. and the cosmos. A few of the premises have little em complex. digm on the nature the kinds of relationships to inventory and inductively generalize that or forms and their more occur between mortuary do commonly practices and other causes. In almost all instances. dying.g. death. Among in and physical factors that are treated are ones previously circumstantial such as the location. no attempt is made to argue whether practices. From in mortuary variation repeatedly practices that a balanced. which relates the of the corpse to beliefe about the soul and afterlife. Many of these premises or archaeological have been developed from only a few ethnographic cases. and other fac vestigated. or without to the effects of the interactions between philosophi attention include premises beliefs and social factors. which considers many kinds of causes beyond social ones. or other factors the intents of individuals. the simple relationships that have been posited and their causes are found here to be more between mortuary practices and sobering. tion. phenom might be ultimate sources of stability or change in sociocultural the goal of this survey is more ena. The survey discloses body processing. proximate data The second purpose of this paper is to test with cross-cultural some common working premises that archaeologists have used to recon basic: struct social organization from mortuary remains.Mortuary Practices and Their Determinants 107 include many categories of factors that are investigated sophical-religious "folk" beliefs and world-view about institutionalized assumptions socially the disease. it is concluded nary approach. Huntington and Met Although applied only ethnographically Hertz's hypothesis is important to archaeology. multivariate. tested Also . for the health of survivors. the afterlife.

anthropology to archaeologists for explaining mortuary that are available approaches are offered by (1) mainstream These approaches practices. are pre the causes of mortuary practices CONTRASTING VIEWS ON THE DETERMINANTS OF MORTUARY PRACTICES there are at least three distinct and sociology. the disclosed patterns do offer the archaeologist guidance to be relevant to social or philosophi traits that are more likely In this functional way. the specific terms "philosophical-religious be Throughout or "beliefs" for short. Hodder. Philosophical-religious beliefs and world-view assumptions cial structure or means in contrast. most of the bridges constructed domains." This is done because ideology can refer either broadly to any "systematic body of concepts about human life . 1990. are used rather liefs" and "world-view assumptions. of so Here. archaeology. came to focus on social or American mainstream mortuary archaeology as the fundamental with restrictive consequences determinant. This paper begins with a summary of different archaeological and an views on the roles of social organization and beliefs in de thropological to trace historically It proceeds how recent termining mortuary practices. a sociopolitical program" 1963). However.Miller and Tilley. contemporary Within .. the patterns research problems." or more narrowly to "integrated assertions. the term "mortuary prac social structure or organization tice" is used in short to refer to both ritual activities and the resulting material forms of disposal.g. this paper. resem cal-religious ble middle-range theory. ideas and linkage between philosophical-religious is implied." than the more general term "ideology. Earle. that constitute or culture.108 framework for expressing vides a general framework views and and beliefs. for reconstructing Carr Hertz's hypothesis also pro some aspects of past world cross-cultural found here between mortuary practices relationships their causes might be classified theoretic by some as middle-range in that they provide bridges between the systemic and ar (sensu Binford). no necessary are frequently to be translations considered and political for social organization action. of middle-range the results theory. Finally. the latter. 1982a. The social organization. . mortuary in selecting time. 1982b. Finally. 1984). here are chaeological statistical generalities rather than theoretical At the same propositions. narrower usage has become common (e. ganization for the subsequent development of the cross-cultural study of sented. In contemporary (Webster.

symbolic. inverted.. concluded of social systems. For example.. 109) did acknowledge often requires a consideration rituals are behaviors. living population. vary in the degree to which social organization thought to be mirrored directly in symbolic mortuary practices and forms. or otherwise manipulated when masked. First. has come to emphasize Mainstream American mortuaiy archaeology the view that social organization. Second.e. philosophical-religious." Similarly. to be idealized. If patterns exist in mortuary it is during practices. ideationally based] behavior. is the primary determinant of mortuary T?inter practices. Greber exceptions: "Exceptions (1979. stated. not in terms of normative in the form and organization [i. survey of mor ethnographic . in her study of prehistoric mortuary practices in the Midwestern United States. in her analysis of Ohio Hopewell variability. contemporary contextual action-focused. tuary practices "confirms beyond serious contention in terms of variability in mortuaiy variability practices must be understood (1978:107). three schools differ in five primary ways. assumed that they relate to structural divisions in society. and mortuary rituals are aspects of mortuary rather than causes of them?a that Tainter practices point confused. distinctions visible in mortuary practices reflect status life. that patterns found within associated fainter remains a burial population .that the argument. reflect significant social patterns of the It is probable that a closer approximation that the interpretation of variation in mortuary (1978. of social re independently thought to sometimes affect mortuary practices social relations are thought lations. Fourth.. However. which French sociology of the early part of this century and some (2) paradigm." Other determi nants of mortuary practices were envisioned to be secondary by Rothschild to this tendency exist."2 Rothschild (1979. p. archaeology. 660). p. remained . summary of American mortuary archaeology. or other determinants. instead. following Binford (1971) and Saxe (1970).Mortuary Practices and Their Determinants 109 American is based largely in the materialist-ecological archaeology. and (3) recent British British and American anthropology. that Binford's (1971) cross-cultural. referent philosophical-religious meanings the approaches is Third. rather than expressed and world beliefs intervening indirectly through the schools differ in whether beliefs and world views are views. they contrast in These factors are recognized to con the degree to which philosophical-religious tribute to patterning in mortuary practices. p. Finally. Mortuary on which Tainter silent. stated. rather than philosophical-religious beliefs. rituals may have social. they differ in whether the symbolic relationships between mortuary practices or forms and their are thought to be fully arbitrary. "It is mortuary 38). of ritual. . the approaches vary in whether to be passively mirrored in mortuary practices or. visible "It is assumed that distinctions in his influential assumed herein. symbolized by those practices as part of social strategies.

Rothschild's (1979) (funeral) activities and Grebefs al analyses do not once consider possible (1979) mortuary causes of patterning. such as those French Bloch of Rothschild... 1977. Pen than socially ney. archaeologically to mortuary social approach and of the New Archaeology's 3For a polar assessment practices see David and world views on mortuary of beliefs underestimation of the effects practices. Van Gen through subtly but sions. most other ternative. O'Shea.g. 1969) of rituals and symbols are broader cited works differ from These focused American mortuary archaeology. in addition show that institutionalized rites and forms. giving little beliefe and world concerning views (e. can be reconstructed from mortuary remains. 1971. 1983. tuary analysis has been social reconstruction (e. Huntington 1979. Peebles. 1982. 182). 1970. 1975). 1964. 128-136).Tainter. in three significant ways. studies (Durkheim. 1979. and Parry.110 Carr to [the] total social structure will be made by using in a data base as many different aspects of the physical remains of the individual and of all burial as possible. (see below). commonly some ambiguity article (see below) in Binford's and translations of Binford's different conclu significantly and Tainter 1915. 110-114. Tainter. . Braun. See also Emerson reconstructing cosmologies.O'Shea 1981. 1971. Brown 1971b. Likewise. Goldstein 1981. Hertz. and the philosophical-religious between mortuary practices lationship in them is not fully arbitrary. Turner. 1972. Saxe. and formal methodological for mor the thrust of quantitative developments 1979. sociological nep. which helped archaeology's this tenet has social causes of mortuary practices Nevertheless.g. Brown. 1907. just quoted. 1978. philosophical-religious case studies since the late 1960s have American well-cited archaeological remains interpreted mortuary or no attention to alternative in terms of social interpretations organization. Hertz various peoples afterlife. come ently to be assumed as a result of in American mortuary appar archaeology. Cross-cultural behind regularities meanings and some of those meanings themes and cosmology basic world-view exist. 1987. pp. Douglas 1970. Peebles.3 Finally. For example. Greber. First. (1907) showed that the practice reflects their belief of Borneo of secondary burial among that a "second funeral" is needed to guide the soul of the deceased to the society of souls in the re some of the above works suggest that the "symbolic" Second. is the primary determinant of mortuary That social organization prac of Binford's not the intended message tices was apparently (1971) earlier to stir modern interest in the seminal survey. 1984. and Metcalf. 1971b. 1909) and American and British anthropological studies (Bloch. For affect a society's mortuary fundamentally organization. Blakely. example. 1984. 1981.1974. on American attitudes toward archaeology's (1989:46) (1992. 1981. Braun." In line with these views. Binford. p. they clearly American mortuary archaeology to social beliefs and world views.

186). 1982) also contrastswith it aligns more closely with archaeology. 1982a. social organization the constraints of and through in such practices within usually expressed as the filters of "collective including basic world-view representations. they sur 1982.Mortuary Practices and Their Determinants 111 Penny (1983) and Henry (1994) have convincingly shown how the relative common symbols of shamanic cosmolo of some cross-culturally placement can be understood as cemeteries within Ohio Hopewell gies (Eliade. 110). and prestige distinctions because of and through the expression in Nuba of beliefs burial practices. 200. ordering." nature of reality. their expression the practical. disease. and so forth. Pearson. dualism. (Cannon. mortuary practices need not be passive reflections of social organization. there is one additional important Both Hodder's school of thought and Durkheim's. action-focused. not mirror behaviors To the extent that in daily life. distinction. symbolic. Because beliefs and their symbols have and reworking through they are open to reinterpretation in behaviors such as mortuary practices. but only about purity and fertility contextual approach to ar (Hodder. and transformation. 1992.. triadic dualism) and "grammatical" ciation. cul is "meaningfully constituted" ture. and within the constraints of underlying psychological rules of asso structures (e. mortuary behaviors may reflect the society's world view more than its prac tical organization. p. 1982b. pp. socially focused American mortuaiy studies. Hodder.g. Third.. 1964) universe. and can become a 1982a. and American authors who do Among see beliefe as affecting mortuary practices. 199). rounding death need such alterations of social relations align with a society's larger world view. in bringing . practices. Thus. For example. Instead. death. sumptions and more specific beliefe about the the soul. which comprise and which are made relative to beliefs. p. ganization are sometimes seen to idealize In this paradigm. Pearson. they can be the product of active social and personal the dynamics of social relations/or choices and strategies. p. 1984. chaeology (Hodder. The recent British. the above of the shamanic three-layered representations is not necessarily mirrored works show that social organization directly in is the structure of mortuary rituals and forms. space. British. age. are ac 1982b. In Hodder's and anthropological the above sociological view. tively chosen by actors in relation to specific beliefs and broader world-view and symbolic themes. daily social relations that comprise Or social organization. are seen to invert or mask social relations 1989. Little et al. the afterlife. p. Behavioral practices. time. the above-cited French. 1982a. gen are made der. 9-10). mortuary practices some ambiguity. including mortuary (Hodder. such as mortuary practices. Behaviors 1982a. The (Hodder part of active social and personal strategies nature of the reworking varies with the context and the intention specific of the actor(s).

Penney. 186. be fruitful for investigation 1983.. sociopolitical ideology and strategy. 1982a. pp. them. For Hodder's framework for expressing action-focused school. Thus. p. p. 1981. Beliefs or manipulating social relations. the linkages ceased/corpse and philosophical-religious between mortuary beliefs appear to practices in their own right (see also Hall. French studies (e. Hertz. more than philo sophical-religious beliefe. Hertz (1907) and Huntington andMetcalf (1979) clearly dis that reflect social of mortuary rites in traditional Borneo to mourners) of the deceased/corpse from as organization (relationships to beliefs about death (relationships that are attributable of the de pects to the soul. 1989. and Peebles (1971) published seminal works the nature of social organization and estab that modeled or cross-cultural fundamental lished. effects. 1982. are the paradigmatic foci (Hodder. Brown (1971b).112 beliefs Carr and world views into the study of mortuary practices. 141). Reviews ington and Metcalf. 1979. expressions. p. HISTORICAL ROOTS AND CONSEQUENCES OF THE VIEWS TAKEN BYMAINSTREAM AMERICANMORTUARY ARCHAEOLOGY in the social of the history of ideas about mortuary practices have already been written and archaeology sciences. anthropology. 1985) show that beliefe and world views can affect mortuary practices directly and independently of social relations for expressing in addition to providing a framework and structures. by example comparison. Hunt 1971. These diverse views require reconciliation through empirical study. Pearson. and Randsborg.1983. repeated to have led American mortuary away from the study of philo archaeology of taking this path. 145-164. 1983. (Bartel. different literatures vary archaeological and beliefs relative degrees and ways in which social organization in the are thought to determine mortuary practices. 102). and/or manipulation prac as providing and world views are envisioned the symbolic tices. sophical-religious late 1960s through early 1980s was a formative The period during which basic insights into the nature of death and mortuary practices were In archaeology. 82-108) and will not be on the specific reasons that appear Instead. In contrast.McGuire. 1981. Huntington not 1979. pp. 215-217. Saxe (1970). Chapman 1982.g.Merbs. 1992. focus is placed 1978. and Metcalf. although other American and 1982c. 1907. in many disciplines.1984). 1984. and some of the consequences beliefs. afterlife. entirely (Hodder. Brown. For example. Binford. Hall. the emphasize of mortuary social functions.Whittlesey here. Bin gained and theory was developed ford (1971). relationships . tinguished aspects and anthropological In sum. and souls therein). 1979.

which apparently . following Durkheim thought about death. practices the expression of society as "collective through representations.who introduced systems theory (Blau. for each culture how these practices relate systemati They also described to philosophical-religious. tuary practices cross-culturally views. economic. upon which archaeology was subsequently and refined in equally critical of knowledge expanded works by Braun (1977. 1970) and the relationships to model between social dimen social organization on mortuary the energy expended sions. other disciplines were exploring the nature of About death the causal and mortuary practices from different roles of beliefs and world views. studies (Hertz. which were translated into English only recently. Goldstein (1976. In social. ological the same time. This situation arose from or was allowed by paradigmatic and philosophical differences inhib among the disciplines. Habenstein and Lamers (1960) compiled basic descriptions the dying arid death practices of over 70 societies around the world. She showed its expression of the dying and bereaved. Philip Aries study of the re (1977) made a comprehensive to religious of deathbed. and political factors. interpreted the effects of archae and O'Shea cemeteries. 1984). into contemporary studies. who interpreted the spatial structure of who rituals. These anthropological to social organization and function related mortuary (1915). ideas changed in sync from the early Middle Ages In the social sciences. cally of cul contemporary American psychology. the period of ferment from the late 1960s through early 1980s. more attuned to and Huntington Metcalf (1979) and Bloch and Parry (1982) compared and interpretedmor from symbolic-structural. Kubler-Ross (1969) characterized not only in the emotional ture's view of death. No less insightful were their case studies. lationship and how these behaviors attitudes and beliefs about death in Europe. and to the present. In history. 1907. tegrate previous French sociological 1909).Mortuary Practices and Their Determinants 113 and mortuary im certain social dimensions practices. who evaluated formation processes. 1981). These mortuary trated some of the cross-culturally most common kinds of mortuary expres between still focuses. perspectives In ethnology. and for 1965) portant or quantitative methods to model and bridge the social and mal-structural illus domains. (1981. Marxist-structural. adjustments but also in American mortuary practices. burial. This body sions of social dimensions. Van Gennep." including institutionalized beliefs. They also helped to in and archetypal-psychological motivational. and grieving practices funerary. During American inde theory about mortuary practices developed archaeological that were growing in other disciplines and pendentfy of these understandings even in ethnology. for which her work is best known. Tainter (1978). Especially was their introduction of role theory (Goodenough. 1979).

.114 Carr lems of The situation also stemmed from certain prob ited their intercommunication. relationships.4 One ap to of American mortuary archaeology's parent consequence predisposition over and energetic aspects of societies and ecosystems. and social evolution. beliefe were classified ford. To clarify the paradigmatic views of American mortuary archaeologists during the late 1960s through early 1980s. it is necessary to distinguish two to focus on social choice of American 4The paradigmatic mortuary archaeologists as means of sociocultural and not on philosophical-religious beliefs. which were a reflection of social organization. p." Rappaport. p. 1969. including mortuary practices 1963). Paradigm The materialist-ecological cal-religious beliefs paradigm that dominated determinants American archae practices ology during the late 1960s through early 1980s did not consider philosophi to be essential of cultural generally (Flannery. 1972.. 289^294. 1968. specifically. inno tional characteristics or ideas be cited as sufficient cause for vations or communicated knowledge and other practices]. The beliefs and world-view assump integrated paradigm behavioral-ecological tions (e. Gardner ecosystems. "ultimate sacred propositions. p. 308. was a lack of communication that were studying how beliefs influence mortuary practices. 1980. Thus. which were thought to be responsible beliefe were seen as less relevant to the study change (Steward. adaptation not faulted. out in historical be pointed retrospect. ward the material with other disciplines beliefs and information. p. Trigger. 1971.. p. variability. organization. 400. In Binford's taken to be (1971. Willey and Sabloff. 1972. which did give beliefe and evolution of human et al.g..g.. 1979). (e.. "The form and structure which characterize practices of any society are conditioned by the form and complexity of the organiza In no way can ideational of the society itself. pp. 23). to the study of mortuary in general. in the foundation of mortuary that was laid by archaeology logic Binford (1971). and practices. In the materialist-ecological as related to more "core" cultural institutions only loosely "epiphenomena." Binford change." for culture stability and and practices. should only . 400. The workings of each of these factors is now described. Rappaport. or stability [of mortuary American during the late 1960s mortuary archaeologists the broader behavioral-ecological 1980s did not embrace and world views a clear role in the functioning through the early of the paradigm time (Rappaport. 1979) into the study of cultural functioning and change through the concepts of information and information exchange (Flannery. 1955). 23) the mortuary words. 186) andmortuary behaviors in particular (Bin view. \&yda and Rappaport. sociocultural of human-land adaptation. 327-328. 1967).

respectively). p. were sometimes confounded in his essay. Additionally. 7 quoting Viollier. cultural differentiation.3) and the proximate causes of various kinds . Likewise.g. 1971. p. 12-13) did cite numerous in mortuary within a society symbolize of how variations ples practices caused by them.. arguing that beliefs are not the ultimate cause of stability or change in mor tuary practices. life. p. "sufficient" cause of stability or change in the mortuary practices of a society is stability or change in its organization (Binford. the examples that Binford gave of idealist-rationalist 25). Also. on the ultimate and proximate causes of mortuary practices. In other places. 25). beliefs and are proximately philosophical-religious Binford apparently did not rule out the eventual reconstruction of beliefs the organizational from mortuary practices: "It is only after we understand correlation between of social organization the same time. Binford's cross-cultural p. 25). explanations (e. Binford make comparisons properties of cultural systems that we can meaningfully them in terms of cultural content" (Binford. 6) debated the normative paradigm of the 1950s saying. that mortuary practices are inherently unstable and that change ultimately results from creativity or diffusion of ideas (Binford.") (Binford.p. and (2) their "proximate causes" of 'Variation" or "dif ferentiation" within a society. He debated Kroeber's (1927) position..Mortuary Practices and Their Determinants 115 kinds of causes of mortuary practices. 123 and TJrter. whether Binford was it is difficult ogy. These are: (1) their "ultimate causes" of stability or change. 1971. 1971. "The changes in the mode of the dead are evidently the results of changed views concerning of disposal the future a cross-cultural 1911. exam At (1971. or that beliefs are not the proximate cause of intrasocietal affected in the abstract differentiation in mortuary practices. Binford (1971. analyses address both the ultimate cause of change in mortuary practices over cultural evo lution (Binford. For example. "We study burial to gain information on religion and be liefs") and ultimate explanations (e. He argued that the ultimate. i. "Much of contemporary and inter archaeological conjecture of culture change. pp.123.e. 15). in places. which its reading and the development of American mortuary archaeol to determine. expla nations of mortuary include both proximate practices. of the article.. 1971. Binford's (1971) article was concerned primarily with ultimate causation. p. their logical and/or functional relationships with other components of the cultural system.g. or both. p. Specifically. Tables 2.Binford attempted to supporthis position empiricallyby showing mensions social complexity and the number of di symbolized in mortuary practices. 1971. pp. 1971. which he debated. the causes of change and stability inmortuary practices were lumped with the causes of their differentiation (Binford. 23. and pretation regarding processes the presence of specific burial customs is inadequate as well as the ideational and assumptions these notions" propositions underlying (emphasis added). 1921. among These two positions of Binford's (1971). too.

Philosophy A mining second mortuary reason why practices understandings did not filter of from the role of beliefs in deter other social sciences into . the ambiguities the past (see references above). apparently gave beliefs a (1971) theoretical consideration intrasocietal differentiation in mortuary prac role in proximately explaining in practice his earlier analysis of the Galley Pond site tices (see above). Emphasis was placed. for at least some archaeolo the crystallization gists. However.e. social organization secondarily on cultural dynamics and social organization tuary practices?and as the ultimate cause of stability or change in mortuary practices.. The relationship that Binford (1971) demonstrated between mortuary to spark the interest of many Ameri practices and social organization helped can archaeologists in the potential of mortuary practices for reconstructing in Binford's article. sation to which Binford's (Binford." it fit comfortably within the material to become popular because portunity at the time. role of ganization beliefs as alternative. personal communication). above). of a paradigm that involved. which was entirely social in its (1964) and perhaps simply the excitement of being able to "get at" pre orientation. came to be viewed as the primary proximate determinant of ganization beliefs became secondary or mortuary practices and philosophical-religious This view had the op unconsidered proximate determinants. "exceptional. the first step logi in focusing on social or cally has to be taken before the second. 1993. Rothschild. social or 1979. The differing kinds of cau whereas these analyses pertain was not clarified by Binford. Finally. or physical ones. Tainter. 1964) considered only social organizational factors. 1978. 1979. which had been Binford's main concern. not philosophi cal-religious. the potential as a proximate cause of mortuary practices. However. proximate causes was not carried philosophical-religious forward from Binford's essay. By implication and explicit statement (see quo tations by Greber. American mortuary archaeology's an exchange of understandings about mortuary not encourage practices with were demonstrating ethnology or disciplines outside of anthropology. inmainstream American mortuary on reconstructing social organization from intrasocietal variation archaeology. that dominated American archaeology ist-ecological paradigm focus on social organization did In turn. 1971. circumstantial. which how beliefs influence mortuary practices. Table 4). Binford's model Galley Pond analysis.116 Carr of mortuary practices (Binford. This emphasis was natural. historic led to social organization (Tainter. as a proximate cause of mor in mortuary practices?i. a subtle yet significant shift in thinking from the primary thrust of Bin ford's (1971) article.

the conceptual bridge from mortuary practices and social organization to world view was not obvious. practices Aries (1977). but unnecessarily involved subtle illogicalities.Haberstein and Lamers (1960). this view in two ways. that were made by Binford arguments persuasive (1971) and commonly toward the study accepted. the evolutionary to types archaeologists then. so. An exception was Douglas' (1970) work. p. 1975). tion holds for the different social organizations. such as mortuary result from similarities and differences in ideas. Binford's criticism per explanations tained to the issue of infinite regression in explanation rather than to the relevance of beliefs or social organization to explaining mortuary behavior. (1960) cross-cultural Problems of Logic of mortuary inde Archaeology's understandings practices developed of those growing in other disciplines also because of two explicit. the same logic could be applied to a social are to be ex in mortuary behaviors organizational approach: If differences one must still seek plained by variation in social relations and organization. including mortuary analysis. Natural her social organizational 1962) used (Service.Mortuary Practices and Their Determinants 117 American archaeology during the 1960s to the 1980s is the difference in the disciplines' and the generality of their research goals. both arguments First was Binford's argument against the "idealist" or "rationalist" ap proach to cultural analysis. and this remains largely true today. The idealist posi pendently that similarities and differences in behavior. p. the studies of mortuary and beliefs by propositions. behaviors First. in favor of a stance that explains dif 7) criticized ferences in mortuary in relation to social organization. However. one must still seek explanations for the different by differences beliefe. general nature of world views and belief systems and their variation with social organizational types had yet to be defined (Kearney. This is true. andKubler-Ross (1969) (cited In ethnology and sociology. philosophies was dominated American archaeology by positivist concerns with universal In contrast. 7) criticized the idealist . view was by claiming that his position against it is a logical replay of Durk heim's justified criticism of the unilinear evolutionists. This analogy is not The second way in which Binford (1971. types did not by American correspond Symbols. (1971. Works that begin to make this bridge by societal types to kinds of belief systems are Goodman's relating (1991) and Swanson's studies. the above) were contextual and particularistic. Binford rituals. However. he out that if differences are to be explained in mortuary behaviors pointed in belief. These arguments directed mortuary archaeology of social organization and away from the study of beliefs.

propriate explanation that "social facts. 16) that directed American and away from toward the study of social organization mortuaiy archaeology the study of beliefs is that mortuary practices are symbolic. From this view. can reflect cate as contrasting groups of burials within a population just differ socially in life or death. according teristics redundant symbols that define those categories of persons and that reflect of those beliefe particular beliefs could indicate the organization multiple. 1978. burials oriented into broader philosophical-religious to go to two different af east versus west might reflect persons presumed terlives in different directions. in part. including mortuary rituals. of behaviors Durkheim and but also institutionalized behaviors beliefs. the form of which is arbitrarily related to the it by its collective users. For example. so too can they reflect gories of persons that charac of persons that differ in their philosophical-religious categories to some belief. Durkheim argued (1938. In turn. p. InWhite's (1949) a symbol is a thing. structure rather than the form of mortuary remains. nor whether Binford then went on to argue that archaeologists must study the drowning. . 121). comprise themes that may. a criminal. see above). i. Binford held that social rather Can than beliefs. Binford bestowed upon meaning reasoned that the form of any mortuary practice holds an arbitrary relation ar ship to the beliefe or social identities itmight reflect. in life or death. 97-112) and individual psychology. which thus remain sense. that mortuary reflect Durkheim's student. variation within a society reflects the organization was an alternative: that structured Binford Not considered by (1971) the organization in mortuary remains might variation reflect. Robert Hertz. Durkheim (1951) demonstrated in France at the turn of and Protestants in the suicide rates of Catholics in their institutionalized the century related to differences beliefs.e." rather contrast. The second argument of Binford's (1971.118 valid. as Binford said iors. the multiple. the society's world view. p. unreconstructible chaeologically (see also Tainter. than hypothesized should be personal emotions social facts are patterns used to explain behaviors ultimately. analogously. for example. 1907. and beliefs such both the social relationship of the deceased as the nature of the soul's journey to the afterlife (Hertz. argued practices to the living. ultimate organization. is cremated does not inherently reflect any par whether or not the deceased the deceased was a chief. Specifically. and that their structured of the society's members. as acceptable. ultimate explanations of behav did not argue. the philosophical-religious of a society's philosophical-religious beliefs. Thus. pp. asMerbs (1989) has illustrated for the Inuit. Importantly. Likewise. is the ap such as mortuary In rituals. or died ticular belief. ultimately rather than beliefs and are to be explained in this by social organization that include not only modal saw such beliefs how differences way. Durkheim that behaviors such as mortuary practices are determined he did.. For example. themes.

. and McGuire upon mortuary (1992. tal. are among the last fundamen 126-128) on quantifying energy expenditure. for several paradigmatic. Findings in other fields about how beliefs impact mortuary were not integrated into archaeology. The works of O'Shea (1982. 1971. Although efforts were in ganization the rate of theory development itially productive (see references above). pp. practices Consequences for the Development of Middle-Range Theory Once focused on social analysis. analyzed It is such kinds of contrasting in the synchronie and historical context of each other and supplemental data. horizontal mensions of social organization (e. age. In Turner's (1967. 1984) on the effects of formation processes remains. his further conclusion (Binford.. 23. themes. Binford's haps proximately (Binford vey did not include any variables that would allow one to assess the impact of beliefe on mortuary practices within a society and the degree of mutual of beliefs and mortuary practices over cultural evolution. sought . Bin ford's survey revealed some fundamental associations between several di vertical social position. 25) cor that social differentiation and complexity rectly concluded proximately cause mortuary practices. However. per sonal communications. grave furniture) (Binford. may indicate a suite of characteristics 1989-1992) of those two afterlives. 25). and per p.e. that the contextual school of Hodder (1982a. American mortuary archaeologists to build a body of middle-range for reconstructing social or theory from mortuary practices and remains. body preparation. Binford (1971. pp. sur is unclear here). and logical reasons. relationships A final. 50-51) philosophical-religious it is possible to infer the "positional meaning" of a symbol from its to others as a system. The survey change reported here corrects for this situation. more subtle way in which Binford's (1971) essay directed American mortuary archaeology from the study of beliefs was through away an implicit overgeneralization of the results of his cross-cultural survey. that ideas/beliefs do not explain burial practices ultimately. mainstream American mortuary became focused on the study archaeology of social organization rather than beliefs and world views from the 1960s to the 1980s.. theoretical advances.Mortuary Practices and Their Determinants 119 Other traits that correlate with burial orientation mortuary (Merbs. does not follow. a cosmological or associated sets of symbols. 9) has exploited to reconstruct terms. pp. philosophical. p. theme of the Inuit world view. soon slowed. 1982b. 1971. little progress has been made within the American tradition. Over the past decade.g. Thus. social position) and certain forms of burial practices (e.g. i. Table 4).

Specifically. 1983.Goldstein 1976.g.g. that was taken. in some key case studies of mortuary remains in where some incongruities between archaeological contextual patterning. 1975) to develop and test theory coded and searched for undertaken or circumstantial causes of variation in only social organizational regularities inmortuary practices.g.g. infants may be buried outside of the life not because of their age. used. 1981. that were analytic middle-range theory the several to continue the development feedback. 1979.Tainter. often do not directly cause of social organization Because dimensions correlate with them through intervening but. were not encouraged. 1979. Tainter. in ways that have not occurred. record that mortuary the features of the archaeological archaeologists are often determined to reconstruct social organization cally analyze balance The of social and philosophical-religious second way in which the narrow ished. or to the interaction of beliefs of mortuary tionships practices and social organization. cross-cultural ethnographic of robust surveys of mortuary practices (Binford. 1982a).. 10% . 1971b. factors. Braun. 1969) rather than (e. 1979. and their interactions. Ucko. many the formulation of correlative so that are affected by social factors do not symbolize mortuary practices or social identities directly.Rothschild. 1975. directive feedback was dimin in theory development of diminished feedback problem below shows that nearly The cross-cultural survey presented slight. and testing of possible rela 1975).120 A Carr in theory building is the narrow primary reason for the slowdown of the context of beliefs. focus on social organization has of middle-range theory is by fostering Hodder. First. Brown. For example. relationships practices and dimen lation 5In as been some have of beliefe viewed the effects instances. Peebles. Instead.. modeling. As a consequence. Gruber.5 This is not all of typi by a slowed the development ultimately rather than causal theory.. to beliefs. 1971. further exploration. relative to social explanations and expectations occurred formation. directly. through Specifically. mortuary practices between mortuary and variable beliefs. p. see dis beliefs about their humanness cussion of the T?llensi. below). outside focus on social organization.Vehik. p.. Such a broad knowledge-base mine mortuary might have been practices. 1971. they are choices cial organization that attitudes and values about those identities in re reflect social or personal to beliefs. not beliefs or their interaction with social organization as causes.Hall. upon mortuary practices to patterned social organization and mortuary between relationships practices disruptions as causal factors of interest in their own 1978. 1971. (e. 108. but because of of a community space and having a soul at that age (e.Greber. This has had two effects. Tainter. instead. it deterred acquisition of basic knowl that deter edge about the full spectrum of factors. right (e.

theory Finally. as of mortuary potential determinants practices. or their interaction with social factors. and (Kubler-Ross. 1969). none of the surveys consid ered philosophical-religious beliefs. First. which pose tough methodological that have mortuary problems pat terning (e.g. 1981) clari fication of Saxe's (1970) hypothesis about how corporate groups are re in mortuary flected is an example. 1981. bursts of creativity in theory building are typically followed by a slowing. a large number of practices and large number of poten Tb date. which have downplayed access to human remains. 1971. There are other reasons why the development of theory about mor behavior has slowed. beyond American focus on the tuary archaeology's social. none of the surveys examined. Goldstein's boundary (1976. Stronger to their social causes tuary practices social organization.Mortuary Practices and Their Determinants 121 are quite variable cross-culturally for theory for relating mor middle-range can logically be developed only when interaction are considered together for sions of social organization. 1982b).. and setting appropriate relationships occur. 1981). First. Vehik. beliefe. alone. during which times the routine. In sum. Reasons beliefs need not be simply a matter of paradigm or interest (Hod vestigate der. "normal scientific" conditions death as a subject matter. Second. and their their effects on mortuary practices. 1979. 1975. 1975). Other possible remains (see below) reasons for the slowdown include the small number of archaeologists and students who have focused their research on mortuary practices and com the larger American cultural and educational milieux prise a workforce. as in all the sciences (Kuhn. 1962). Each of these surveys has been very helpful. by archaeologists using Goldstein. most practices (see below). discouraged relevant and in-depth quantitative analyses of mortuary tasks of clarifying for propositions PREVIOUS HUMAN RELATIONS AREA FELE SURVEYS OF MORTUARY PRACTICES four cross-cultural surveys of mortuary practices have been the Human Relations Area Files (Binford. decreasing archaeology's for mortuary enthusiasm may be dampening archaeology. which American recent. at once. 1976. Tainter. Braun. has probably been slowed by the complex structure of many development data sets. it would appear that further development and strengthening of middle-range in mortuary of archaeology requires a broadening theory to include both social organization and philosophical-religious perspective beliefs as determinants of mortuary to in for choosing practices. 1982a. yet also has drawbacks as a basis for building middle-range theory for interpreting mortuary practices. made .

vertical gories of practices (Binford. only a limited number were only social causes of mortuary practices. groups that p. The HRAF survey reported below cor directly rects for these limitations. formal areas use and/or control crucial and restricted resources maintain patterns societies found that formal disposal for the exclusive disposal of their dead. ity by was based on itsmode of subsistence.. body treatment. in Goldstein surveyed 30 societies. sex. not having been based on Mur may the sociopolitical dochs complex (1969) world sampling provinces. Goldstein and ritualize their such social groups symbolize be true. 1978. worldwide. He also found that only cer the social rank of indicated tain forms of energy expenditure consistently the deceased furniture social rank. Tkinter found this propo on funeral activities and disposition sition to be true in every society he surveyed. horizontal in a society's mortuary social position) practices expressed to their in number and kind among societies according vary systematically as approximated their type of subsistence. Significantly. Also. However. worldwide. quantity and circumstances of differentiation of social certain dimensions evidence the survey considered death (see below). Table 4). 121. were placed with the deceased the kinds seldom and quantities of grave these indicators of among . and these (six) of potential ob the total number of relationships in nature. sample of surveyed be biased in unknown ways. and conversely. As to firmly establish the multivariate yet sys tations. His survey also by complexity. Binford's is questionable. in preparation for correlating which each society was characterized. again is expressed "rank" of a person through the amount of energy expended of the body. it has not been possible that occur between single mortuary practices and their tematic relationships causes within and among societies. 119). to found only the converse areas indicate such descent groups. several proximate sometimes Binford (1971) surveyed 40 nonstate societies. because usually by many means. kinds of mortuary hints at the particular to of grave furniture) that tend cross-culturally grave orientation. pp. and circumstantial for nine cate and causes is small?106 served between mortuary practices that the dimensions sition. 1971. rather than practices with complexity. only one of which may be the maintaining corporateness of formal disposal areas (see below). the stability of the In addition. (see below). 59-61) Saxe order to assess one socially focused relationship originally posited by lineal descent that corporate. 126-128) surveyed 103 societies world in order to evaluate one socially focused hypothesis: The social wide. pp. on sociopolitical variables. Finally. 1981. Saxe proposed (1970.g. He showed social po of social differentiation (age. Thus. Tainter (1975. remains (e. (1976.122 Carr a result of both limi tially causal factors for a large sample of societies.

306. sults of both can be compared Societies Sampled Table I shows the sample of societies that were selected for study. societies thatMurdock (1969) listed as the first of the world sampling provinces were preferred. Because Vehik's sample of societies was so narrowly focused. could readily be accessed in theHRAF. therefore. Finally. averaging 100 to 200 persons. a society was chosen only if the number mortuary of pages practices of ethnographic description specifically [Table H. agriculture small communities. (Murdock. Vehik's survey considered although causes. 46 practices to Binford's survey to survey was designed (1971) cross-cultural parallel so that the re the extent possible and when methodologically appropriate. The and 29 possible Area Files. "Outline of Cultural Materials" its concerning codes (OCM) their ethnographies . All have without irrigation. The selected societies are all simple. of societies dependence and White. Each of a different "world sampling province" as designed society is a member by Murdock (1969) and. including philosophical-religious Relations societies were surveyed using the Human factors. societies listed byMurdock (1969) Within these constraints. Murdock societies but having for which all culture-historical Thus. Selection was also limited to those on mortuary and determinants information practices outside of the HRAF were not used. In all. 1980. The sample was also chosen so that each continent was represented by a similar number of societies of diverse sociopolitical complexity. their having the members most ethnographic information of any kind. "Galton's problem"?the minimized in a sample?was 1967. is approximately independent of the others culture-historically. and practice inhumation of the dead. subsisting by horticulture and by large animal husbandry.Mortuary Practices and Their Determinants 123 Vehik (1975) surveyed 26 societies having specific characteristics in thought relevant to modeling mortuary practices and their determinants societies similar to a central European. six social and circumstantial METHODS HUMAN RELATIONS AREA FILE SURVEY: to a wide spec of mortuary To investigate the relationship practices as well as social trum of possible causes. early Bronze Age society that she or studied. p. pp. Moreover. 31 nonstate causes were coded. it included only for building middle-range theory of the general kind sought 13 mortuary practices. and integrated. it is not suited here. 5-6).

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circumstantial. not. for two-thirds of the societies. 1982) for which rele literature were searched. A few in the ethnographic information with diagnostic as appropriate. in the society's practices. the sample is well distributed. (1) band-level (2) com substantial inherited or leadership positions. Of the 31 societies chosen for study here and the 40 chosen by Binford (1971). which limited search toHRAF traitsdirectly pertaining to death and funerals (codes 76*). of any kind. seven petty hierarchies. The combinations paramount of Murdochs column codes used to define these classes are shown in Table data was then checked of each society using Murdock's I. These pages provided infor on both mortuary and reasons. which Binford (1971) had used. because Binford's sample was not based on Murdock's sampling provinces. philosophical-religious. 1979. by simply their mode of subsistence. additional HRAF Table gories that focus on beliefe (TableH. This procedure contrasts with previous surveys. 156-157) This was achieved by the following means. All traits that the ethnographic bear on the social. might reasonably were considered or ecological of mortuary determinants practices physical. . an attempt was made to understand the logical "fabric" of a society's world view (Tbelken.. (4) petty hierarchy with a Big or chief. six band-level altered classifications nine horticultural five complex hunter-gatherers. Five hunter-gatherers having hunter-gatherers. and (5) multilevel. vant pages of for search. The classification literature searched. randomly selected and as time allowed literature was read within OCM trait cate (Table I. not (1967. mation practices Then. statements of the reasons Also. First. for them. (3) horticultural tribewith head men. Societies were characterized ricultural intensity" as encoded classes plex Man of societies were defined: and "ag by both their "social complexity" Murdock columns 32. but not criteria. 28). tribes. by experience. cultural diversity as Murdock of worldwide and White's pages as representative (1980) standard cross-cultural sample of 186 societies. beyond explicit locating ethnographers' cited by informants for particular mortuary practices. chiefdom. is reflected and how this probably pp. The median number these of relevant selection Given for the sampled societies is 303. all of the pages of the traits on mortuary to au of the OCM listed in practices pertaining II (top half) were read for each society. hunter-gatherers. and four paramount Coding Variables Table II shows the OCM traits (Murdock et al. only eight are shared (Tkble I).126 Can in top half] was manageable ( 750 pages) yet sufficient ( 30 pages). column 5). chiefdoms were studied. were In the end. bottom half) and that.

including calendar ceremonial including the disposition of miscarriages and stillbirths 845 847 Traits 154 157 Difficult and unusual births. includinghuman sacrifice Purification and expiation. including purification rites Ritual Organized Pregnancy. including disposition of victums of infanticide pertaining Adjustment Personality to philosophical-religious processes. view0 intuition 183 208 374 Norms Public opinion. including beliefs vampires. including heirlooms Music. homicide Social offences and their actions Aftermath of combat. Sex including status. notions about hot and cold 513 562 577 673 Sleeping.Mortuary Practices and Their Determinants 127 Table IL "Outline of CulturalMaterials" Traits that were Chosen for Search in the Ethnographic Literature Traits pertaining to mortuary rituals and behaviors 164 165 211 Morbidity. includingdisposition of war casualties Disasters. and death. Mnemomic including devices. inheritance including the dead. loathsome diseases . including behaviors. notions in witches. conception including ethical of legal norms including violation 674 682 689 727 Crimes Offenses against life. including the distribution of diseases and accidents Mortality. includingpunishment of attempted suicide Aftermath of combat. including including postmortem amulets protective examinations and body manipulation 764 765 766 767 768 769 778 78* Funeral Mourning Deviant mortuary practices Mortuary specialists Social readjustments Cult Sacred Religious of to death. handicapped Invalidism. traits including beliefe dreaming. including ideas about sleeping. and world inspiration. including mortality in war 732 734 737 Feeblemindedness. including punishment of attempted suicide. including Old age dependency. positions in sleeping Ethics. Sickness. care of including sick and injured care of aged 738 75* 751 752 753 754 Delinquency of diseases theory and treatment amulets including protective Bodily injuries. death rates and causes commemorative statuses and monuments including 266 428 523 533 682 727 731 Cannibalism Inheritance Hobbies. theory of accidental injuries of disease. werewolves Sorcery. about Theory including theory of death. including reactions to them 76* 761 763 Death Life Dying. of uncleanliness of women including notions of conscience ideals. ceremonial. including attitudes Heat. Preventive including medicine. includingdirges and laments Offenses against life. including the disposition of miscarriages and stillbirths Abortion and infanticide. rituals. purification objects and places practices 782 783 788 796 843 Propitiation. Wrongs.

including therapy. communication spirit possession. Ideas about including nature conception and man. color. nature spirits.128 Can Table IL Continued 755 Magkal life and mental 758 761 Medical care. Religious General protective amulets. religious including interpretation with omens and divination. death. disease Suicide Dying. including organization to soul. including word Revelation and divination. the origins the relation these and magical beliefs. character including of religion. conception 769 77* 771 Cult of the dead. including emotional reactions in religion Propitiation. anatomy including ideas about cosmic day 823 824 825 826 Ethnogeography. reincarnation spirits. including sleeping habits of children Puberty and initiation. and expiation. of conception sacred of fate. including attitudes 855 856 Child care. sick and injured and death. including counter measures to sorcery of causes of death. including Luck and chance Sacred objects and places. including knowledge and beliefs concerning human physiology. conception interpretation shadows the human anatomy. ideas about corpses ogy. including familiar Spirits and gods. spirits. including ideas about these 857 881 Childhood activities. including animal sacrifices Purification Avoidance notions of uncleanliness. trances. including beliefs about ghosts. ethnophysics and reflections. ideas of night of and Ethnometeorology. purification including taboos taboos. of time. including attitudes Development and maturation. including blood ideas about menstrual Menstruation. 762 763 764 theories of life. monsters concepts of soul-stuff. including notions of death and rebirth in initiation ceremonies . including beliefs. escatol including mortuary sacrifices. including care of the insane. including Ethnophysics. omens of death Funerals. breathing Ethnopsychology. including of a moral order of the universe. sound. myths about origin of death including of conception 772 773 774 775 776 777 778 and profane Cosmology Mythology. revelation and 805 812 82* 821 822 and astrology 801 numerology Ordering of time will Philosophy. conceptions of fatigue and dreams Sexuality Sexual ideas about sexual intercourse intercourse. of dreams. concept of free and physiology phenomena. ideas about including ideas about ideas about form. including including of breath the realm of Escatology. animated fetishes the cosmos* 779 78* 781 782 783 784 787 Theological systems Religious practices Religious experiences. gods. including notions of water Ethnobotany Ethnozoology Ethnoanatomy. ideas about blood 827 828 831 833 841 847 854 Ethnophysiology. ancestor worship beliefs. including ideas about abnormal mental states. soul concepts the dead. Animism. including Infanticide and abortion Infant care.

as well as on my own insights from logical analyses death-related literatures across cultures. of the corpse/death (Hertz. includingprescriptions for longevity Status and treatment of the aged.6 and their causes occurred through and of fear for relationships: (1) grief for the deceased as the sole reason for a practice should be added. These vari that would be observable archaeologically. 1907) as the sole reason for a practice should independent seven modifications recommend the benefit of future surveys. (1982). philosophical-religious. In addition. and the disposal area.Mortuary Practices and Their Determinants 129 Table IL Continued 886 888 Senescence. in order to assess O'Shea's ables were lead. . grave formation: bereavement practices (variables 30-39). including care of aged ""Outline of Cultural Materials" (OCM) traits are described by Murdock et al. All were to mortuary rituals and behaviors searched in the eth the listed traits that pertain to not all of the traits that pertain literature for each society studied. physical. The that very practices 6In hindsight to the las (2) general unforeseen prac early in the survey to accommodate in final set of selected variables proved satisfactory mortuary between few instances of unclassifiable relationships the survey. I would in order to accommodate certain and dependent variables. The response variables describe prac levels: the body. in Table of were found to be most ciety's world-view for learning about the fabric of the so productive themes and their effects on mortuary practices. based on those that have previously been studied in death and ethno related literatures of the social sciences and in archaeological of mortuary practices. nants" of those practices (Table IV). the and logically nested tices at several distinguishable funeral and and grave furniture. Analytic Tvvo kinds Variables the ethnographic in of variables were used to categorize variables" that describe mortuary practices and forms "response the potential variables" that describe social. nographic are listed that were searched for each society. All of the response variables stud ied by Binford (1971) were included here. variables were constructed and independent The lists of response largely a priori. included. However. (Table III) and "independent "determi and ecological circumstantial. following (1981) or kinds of beliefs might typically whether any aspects of social organization lack archaeological effects and not be reconstructible. A few additions and refinements to the lists were made tices and causes. many of which do not have effects were documented. Those world view and beliefs were searched I.

grave Grave and shape (B) 10. 4. and to at to Parallel. positioning of legs. processing prior to or 3a or during See 3a funeral. and treatment preparation relative Body orientation to cardinal directions at Same as 4a burial 5a. cemetery. up or down. spoke pattern burial Form of disposal Grave only. ornamentation of Mutilation. to cardinal directions Grave orientation relative to feature of real or coffin.. chest Same as 3a See 4a of body. the community life-space. Local grave location (B) Within or outside mound. ornamentation. paration and Body position during pre treatment Body position at burial (B) either 4a Body orientation. Direction relative to north Direction relative to a river. wheel Same as 5a relative Body orientation features of real or mythological burial landscape relative Body orientation others in the grave at perpendicular. Number of individuals container characteristics and grave. 9. 3b. put Grave 8. 4a. to the land of the dead mythological landscape 12/17.. within house etc. on left side. cremation. of disarticulation. 2. painting/ sprinkling the body or bones with pigment.e. cannibalism of the body or bones) (i. in urn in home in tree. . to the land of the dead mythological landscape during preparation treatment 5b. volume.e. degree bundling or other packaging of bones/ashes. the body or bones as given) prior to the funeral perfume. per form Number Architectural of grave. in river. as total building size. (i. undetermined to relative Body orientation Hexing/extension head. Body preparation (B) Body treatment (B) Washing. scaffold scatter ashes. embalming. arms. floor. flowers. autopsy. 3b. right side Direction relative to north cardinal directions during 4b. Grave orientation (B) relative 11. undetermined 3a.130 Table HL Response Variables: Mortuary Some Body characteristics Practices examples and Forms of variable states Variable 1. materials. midden. secondary burial either Body position. or 4b. traits such urn. disarticulation. relative Body orientation features of real or to Direction relative to a river.

of grave goods by type with to body relative location high. next to water. topography/ecozones location relative Regional settlement to Near. visible no no no or not.g.g. burials Disposal 17.g. 21. shared community belonging of functional Counts and weights types. 23. or from the feature (e. See 12. above Number of burials Number Number Distance some culturally and direction from placed a chiefs (e. all burials similar location in 15. 22b. 18. See 19. items found in the exotic raw materials as well as or only in mortuary contexts village grave. the community. ornaments. items found in the village as materials well as or only in mortuary broken or contexts. average distance. 16. Kinds of grave furniture initiallyplaced in or on top of the grave (B) Source of grave furniture types present (e.. Quantity of grave furniture initiallyplaced in the grave (B) else's from person's. someone someone else's from outside within community.. sacrifices unbroken. it Yes. knives. medium. burial). geographic center of the cemetery. local versus or styles. from some a hillock).. of local versus exotic raw items made points). or styles. far. Yes. from settlement 20a. The 14. in the forest 19/22a. person's family. 24. with respect to which the is organized cemetery near Isolated.g. Yes. 13b. of Spatial arrangement grave furniture as initially in the grave placed Overall energy expenditure on grave architecture and relative to other furniture Association Low.. 20b. Cemetery formally demarkated Graves formally demarked Cemetery visible or graves within from a distance as a warning to to the region) Cemetery (e. ridge top. wheel-spoke pattern .Mortuary Practices and Their Determinants 131 Table HL Continued Variable Grave furniture Functional Some examples of variable states characteristics 13a. intruders content and internal organization 22a. 26. feature Number of types of burials socially recognized location Within-cemetery of a grave relative to some absolute bench mark in the cemetery location Within-cemetery of a grave relative to all other graves Within-cemetery of all graves each other relative orientation to 25. Alignments of graves into rows. above location of dis posal area relative to area characteristics Regional River terrace.

the benchmark of all graves to some cemetery Yes. Other funeral form in general considered in Binford's deceased. a secondary whether funeral occurs ornamentation grave grave meals. be should rites. 38. (e. Only two ecological cause such causes are rarely recorded ethnographically. 36. the type. 39. be attribute to mortuary rites. 31. funerary Funeral Funeral Funeral behaviors oratory song dance of groups based on age. 32. yet specific enough variables were coded. men the other on positioning 34. groups. diggers funeral activities. usually the mem The be included. Costume. (5) each of the not simply the deceased. gender compared relative or nonrelative to that of the a specified length of short. Clustering relative benchmark 28. Self-explanatory after death. Many. bereavement. of the social personae dimensions of the giver since grave goods can reflect the personae should be added as possible causes. Clustering of certain burial to some types relative benchmark cemetery Other 30. not reflected in the grave. separated . or other the survivors. or cemetery and games and Presence/absence of funeral number attendees and their Self-explanatory Same as 30 Same as 30 or men few persons. visitation Corpse processors. of the living funeral participants. long period. 35. no. (4) practical in differences for a behavior wealth. women excluded.132 Table BDL Continued Variable 27. 37. shell is placed in ear orifices to keep the dirt out) should be added. 33. and secondary funerary tertiary from funeral time and duration. (6) the number or of secondary and (7) the occurrence the funeral ritual. no. political into vertical be partitioned should social position (3) vertical reasons and religious/spiritual standing. Funeral Funeral fasting time. from their positioning during or tertiary body processing and reburial. after Immediately some calendric time. to be general variables were constructed philosophical-religious be found through survey more that instances of each would likely enough to entail some of the logic that peoples than rarely. women stand on one side of the corpse. duration.g. Self-explanatory fl(B) means (1971) survey. Within-cemetery relative to each grave other Yes. during Self-explanatory Same as 36 Male or female. Family cluster social categories together sex. Some the kind examples of variable states Carr of benchmark location of burial types 29. power. Grief. attendees should be separated of funeral as well as that of the deceased.. body.

male initiate. Yes. away from base camp. Independent Variables: Determinants Variable Some Circumstances 51. female. Timing Duration home. newborn pregnant. Male. sodality of the to other living persons adult. funeral. twin of the deceased criminal. position calendar days. Need Heed after Need for access for requirements of processing subsequent to the body Body must be anointed must flex the corpse Yes. shaman. etc enemies. constraints Partial body. etc. the soul will Seeing seek revenge 55b. residence Kinship and relative deceased Fetus. sacrificial witchcraft victim. an area to normal body processing conducive The season. 63. Social 56. social category and cannibalism. 62a. elder androgenous 61/ 65. no body funerals) Physical 55a. Beliefs about cause of sickness and death of deceased the Good death" versus "bad death". commoner. which causes physical on processing the body. Symbols of personality. years (pertinent to secondary Hours. infant. life Horizontal social in Ufe as a social position Age as a social position Gender Indicators personal of only self the group. Yes. versus natural death. no no no preparation for burial for funeral ritual for access to the body funeral ritual to hide or protect the body from animals. 59. social class Circumstantial. 60. bereavement. Cause of death physically. group. their spiritual implications the grave will cause an illness. other social strata position War-dead. weather conditions. anomalous suicide and its spiritual deaths: implications. Vertical social position position in Chief. 53. Physical Physical health requirements Must requirements bury before visible signs with quickly of decomposition oil before after cremation. Location of death of death since death At of death not in social 52a 52b. youth. at ification of deceased time of death 57 58. death in of the living the body 62b. of the murderer. mutilation. physical deformity Philosophical-religious beliefs 54.Mortuary Table Practices and Their Determinants 133 of Mortuary examples Practices of variable and Forms states IV. Beliefs about requirements the living physical health or safety of . 64.

. spirits will trouble the living unless Relatives must a certain offer thing is done for the soul's furniture body as a representative of the soul must be grave well-being The deceased gains importance and power over the 89. symbolism. 82. dry/wet. Beliefe about responsibilities of the to or punishments soul of the deceased about the status and Beliefs change of status of the at/after person their effect on their death. to a given de of a given mortuary An observed practice relationship as a whole if the rela terminant in a society was recorded for the society uniformly across the society. the living protected from evil spirits. color numbers. of a person classification upon death day/night. 91. 87. only the very require special burial deaths die natural who die are reincarnated Children quickly Male/female. clean/unclean. for a subpopulation only for persons of certain age classes (e. living upon death Ecology 90. after A person should be buried in the direction of the homeland The death through after the 88. Beliefs of about must be sung directions to the afterlife to find its waning during life the soul or myths Beliefs universal orders young do not have a soul and do not treatment. living. needs of of the deceased on the there. For example. the soul the journey of the soul to the afterlife 86. Beliefs about a soul's maturation. magical the cardinal directions way The very old their semen/blood. of qualities 85. socially recognized adults) ship of the energy expended on burial to vertical social position might hold or . good or bad quality of the afterlife. The relationship was recorded tionship applied a relation if it held for only that group. the symbolic symbols. Beliefs about the afterlife Location of the afterlife. Continued Some examples of variable states Can Variable 81a. Supplies are required to reach the afterlife.134 Table IV. reincarnation about and existence.g. 84. Beliefs about the nature of the soul (other than its journey) and its effect on the living Beliefs about the nature of Influence the deceased spent soul vengeful 83. time in the afterlife 81b. systemic determinants of their behaviors. Origin myths Beliefe about third-party souls funeral and spirits. Territorial marking Land/resource availability Mounds built on bluff crests Land too scarce for a cemetery bers of a society are unaware of the higher-order. land/water.

male).. A few societies explicitly reported half) was sought.. These are scattered randomly through the matrix. energy expenditure). gender) as the determinant of focus (e.. The practices probably as well as the actual behaviors iors reported to ethnographers by informants include ideal as observed Informant reports probably by ethnographers.Mortuary Practices and Their Determinants 135 gender as well (e. II. literature for each society was read by 34 The selected ethnographic graduate and honors students under my direction in four seminars. In such cases.68% given of all observations. age. whereas in the ethnographies those stated explicitly a count of 1. the stratifying variable (e.g. In the records. include behav them are probably of several kinds. paraphrases. The recorded mortuary causes. The data include inferred by the students or me were given 1887 observations.g. Students recorded quotations or paraphrases of reported relationships between mor and wrote an overview essay of the tuary practices and their determinants themes of the society's practices and determinants. Most societies were sur were surveyed by two. which were studied by multiple ethnographers. given the small numbers of deaths that ethnog raphers typically witness during their limited stays in the field.g.g. vertical social position) was re corded as a cause of the practice (e. Each instance of a re variable-pair " the same relationship When is called here an "observation. The analytic effect of tabulating practices of th? A matrix was . lationship variables was reported more than once and dependent among independent for a society. stu consistency raphies by the students or me. This bias is less problematic for most of the sampled societies. Each contains the counts of observed relation variables for societies of only and independent ships among the dependent one of the five classes that differ in sociopolitical complexity. From the collection the data presented and essays. Each cell of the matrix gives the number of so an independent and dependent between in which a relationship cieties was found in the literature (Table V). within theOMC trait categories on beliefs (Table supplemental information of 46 response variables describing kinds of constructed variables describing kinds of po mortuary practices and 29 independent tential causes (Table V). and particular cases dents were instructed in the meanings of coding were regularly discussed during the survey. when veyed by different students. bottom here. The range of practices observed by an ethnog rapher may not be modal. I encoded of direct quotations. and relationships among practices. or "lay The primary matrix was broken into five component matrices ers" (Tables VT through X). Relationships were a count of . the relationship was tabulated only once. To promote of each variable.5. relationships were distinguished from those inferred from the ethnog by ethnographers in the coding. well and modal practices.. The data include only 51 inferred relationships?2.

5 27.5 7 3 10 36 37 Total "Matrix data.5 12 4 3 14 3 19/22a 4 20b 3 21_1_ 2 321 112 10 2 3 7392 7 11 1 1 23 1 1 5 1 3 2 1 3 4 12 1 3 3 22b 24 25 26 27 29_ 1 14 1 28 14 30 6 4 4 4 1 1 3 31 32 341 1 35 5111211 5 2 111 9 7 392 4 5 4 3 5 1 13 2 33 5 1.5 are response describing independent .5 3 3b 1 8 3 2 3 13 13 4 8 14 2 3 3 11 2 11 3 1 3 5 1 2 2 1_1_15 1 3 1 5 6 14 1 2 5 5 11 13 5. Columns 11 7 5 3 7 1 79 4 39 2 12 39 rows are 4 14 3 6 129 160. Counts of Observations of Relationships Between Mortuary Practices and 51 52a 52b 53 55a 62a 62b 63 64 56 57 58 59 60 1 2 3a 21 22 3 2112139 13 1111 243 13 1 10 3 9665 1 12 3 4 4a 4b 5 5a 5b 6 7_5 4 10 11 12/17 13a 13b 15 18 20a 2 1 1 16_2_111 1.5 mortuary practices.5 1 2 8 3.136 Can Table V.5 107.5 22 4 6 5 4 2 6 2 11 11 4.5 194.5 25 9 1_2_2. 1 1 11 4 12 variables 118 3 8 10 3 4 5 38 3 2 3 12 16.

5 1 40.5 4 105 1 12 6 6 171 mortuary 3 1.5 1 6.5 1 2.5 1 2 9 1 5.5 1 3 2 7 13 5 1 115 2 3_3_1 81211 1 5.5 5 23 0.5 83 8 2 1 11 86 5.5 28 1_80_ 156 1 92 10 55 1 3317_5 16 1 2 11 3 1 1 25 111 _1 10.5 15 2_10 2 9.5 11 82 1 84 12 10.51 1.5 1114 113 4 1 242362 75 1 312172 7 4 7 3.5 9 35 1 1.5 1.5 1 5.5 113 14 6 85 1 14 87 2 88 8 8 1 89 2 1 90 91 Total 126.5 11 8 12 2 1 1 12 2191 773 30 66 135 practices.5 1 3.5 3 1 3 14 5 3 9 24121 68468 563 100 71 111 165 1133 263 variables describing factors that determine 1 5246 2 116 5 6 1 9.5 1 32 2 0 1 12 1112 2 5 5 3 1 10 7.5 1 19.5 34.5 2.5 12 1 2 1_101_ 16 5936 20 3 5.5 873 70 79 1887 of the 2 text for a definition .5 1 1111 11 17 17 13 2 2_3 10 4 6 10 2 12 8 7 36 4 1_114_ 2 165.5 17 2 15 1 2 7.5 3 2.Mortuary Their Practices and Their Determinants 137 Determinants for Societies of all Levels of Sociopolitical Complexity"_ 61/65 4 4 54 8 8 55b 81a 81b 3 6 7 15 4 13.5 120 7 1 1 3.5 4 1_1_05_1_53_ 2 5 2 12 49 2 1 1 3 5 0 1 22 _g_ 1111 131717114127 12 515 1113 3 11 3 1 5 6 13 5 4 1 1 11 6.5 2 1 2 88. See 2 1 1 67 3 2 1 26 2 50 48 23 413 1 86.

138 Can Table VL Counts of Observations of Relationships Between Mortuary 1? 1 2 3 3a 3b 4 4a 4b 5 5a 5b 6 7 8 9 10 11 12/17 13a 13b 14 15 16 18 19/22a 20a 20b 21 22b 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 Total "Matrix data. 11 32 1 12 are 18 independent response describing Columns . 52a 52b 53 55a 62a 62b 63 64 56 57 58 59 6o" 1 2 1 23 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 8 rows are 7 0 1 3 variables 3 0 1 mortuary 73 practices.

5 1 13 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 18 variables 1 15 1 27 factors 1 10 43 8 1 2 393 mortuary 5 practices.Mortuary Practices Practices and Their Determinants 139 Hunter-Gatherers" and Their Determinants for Band-Level 61/65 54 55b 81a 1 2 81b 3 33 83 1 8(5 1 82 84 3 23 1 2 85 87 88 89 90 91 Total 24 21 0 2 6 0 1 3 0 1 13 0 203 3 193 2 1 9 303 4 7 1 11 14 14 0 5 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 03 23 1 1 1 1 1 3 2 1 1 3 2 5 1 1 2. 17 See 22 text for a definition of 17 11 5 7 10 13 5 15 9 14 321 the describing that determine .5 3 4.

5 Columns 10 263 are 10 mortuary describing practices. of the data.140 Can of Relationships Table VIL Counts of Observations Between Mortuary 51 1 3 3a 3b 4 4a 4b 5 5a 5b 6 7_1_12 8 52a 52b 53 55a 1 62a 62b 63 64 56 57 2 58 1 59 60 1113 22 1 1 114 12 9 3 1 10 11 12/17 1_1_1_1 13a 2 13b 14 15 16_1 18 19/22a 20a 21_1_ 2 13 3 0. See text for a definition independent .5 4 1 20b 1 1 2_2 1111 12 111 2 22b 23 24 25 26 27 28 29_ 2 2 3 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 Total "Matrix X sum rows response to the counts in Table are 1 1 1 1 1 2 11111 1 200210306 variables V. 1 1 1 11 11 14 21.

5 1.Mortuary Practices Practices and Their Determinants 141 Hunter-Gatherers" and Their Determinants for Complex 61/65 54 55b 81a 81b 83 86 13 82 84 85 87 ?" 1 89 90 91 Total 223 12 1 4 4 0 0 43 2 0 0 0 18 0 16 1 0 9 28 3 3 2 8 8.5 103 that determine 1 practices.5 1 1 1.5 8 10 8 13 variables 1 10 12 16 28 19. 8 19 Counts in Tables VI 143 10 13 2693 through describing factors .5 13 1 1 03 2 03 2 2 2 1 1 2 1 2 1 23 2 1 03 1 1 1 03 1 1 03 3 13 2 1 0 343 mortuary 123 0 9 23 0 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 6 4 23 13 5.

Table VUL Counts of Observations of Relationships

Between Mortuary

51 2 3 3a 3b 4 4a 4b 5 5a 5b 6 2




55a 1




64 11

56 3 1

57 2 2

58 16 12


60 3 1





7_2 10 11 12/171_1_112 13b 14 15 16_:_1_18 18 19/22a 20a 20b 21 22b 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 35 36 39 Total
"Matrix X sum

3_3 12 8 12 9

1 3



3 13a 13 2 2 1 3 1112 12 111 1112 1 232 3 1 5 2 1 1 12 14 4





1 112 111


112 34 1 12 13 2 37 38 12 1114 04 1723 3 2 2 4 4 39

2 2 2 4 3 2 66 1 1 2 1 24

1 90004
rows are


Columns variables mortuary describing response practices. of the data. in Table V. See text for a definition to the counts


Mortuary Practices


and Their



and Their


for Horticultural






55b 81a 81b 1 6 2 23 1.5

83 3

86 1



85 1





91 Total 4 413 34 4 33 0 5 0 0 4 0

4 121232

1 43 14111

1 1 1 11 83 1


11 13



1 12

2 _4 12 1_2

11 1_3.5 1 33 33 1 3_4_3 2_37_ 32141 21 11


1 203 1

1_223_ 5 5 3 46 8 9 5 133 28 8 12
_0_ 1

3 3 6 111 1 1 3 112

13 1 11 2 111 14 3 1546 11 111 112 14 2


2 1


23 1 1 111

1 1 1



1 1 1 11 1111 12 12 1 2 13

1 11113 12 13

15 0 1 0 0 9

2 2

12 14


2 4 2 1

4 1 3 4


1113 12 333

52 523

2 3 12.5 4 3 3 3 563

14 12 83 1 13 14 2 17 4 2 49



15 19 9 10 24 28

1 2 7


24 22 24 1 5693



that determine


in Tables




DL Counts

of Observations

of Relationships





51 1 2



53 1 11


62a 111


63 2 1

64 14

56 2211

57 2

58 3 1 2

59 12


3a 4 4a 4b 5 5a 5b 6 7 8 3b2

4 12

1_4 1111



9 10 11
12/17 13a 13b 14 15 18 19/22a 20a 20b

1_2 2 1 4


6 114

2 12 3

2 3

1 16_1_2 112 2 2 114 4 12 3 6 12 1 13 12 2 1


22b 23 24 25 26 27 28





11111 30 13 2 11 111


35 36 37 39 Total
"Matrix data.

33 2 1 1 2 34 3 13 114 13 2 382 2 66 41

52 2 11 3 52 12 39

1 2 1

1 2 12
rows are

















5 03 03 1 1.5 1 89 90 91 Total 16 28 1 33 15 0.5 1 1.5 13 8.5 of the 1 II 12 12 3 103 233 variables 2 2 113 20 4 1 1 183 mortuary 11 1 1111 15 233 28 43 practices.Mortuary Practices and Their Determinants 145 Their Determinants for Petty Hierarchies with a Bigman or Chief 82 86 84 85 87 88 61/65 54 55b 81a 81b 83 1 2 1111 13 11 11 2 03 1 3 1 03 03 ? 13.5 03 1 1.5 0 0 _2 1 1 5 1 03 1 1_3 1 2 1_1_18_ 5 1 1 1 203 2 0 2 322445 13 1_4_1 2 1112 _1 11 1_1 1 1_1_1_19_ 11 10 1 1 1_2 2 1 33 3_42_ 211 15 5 38 1 1 12 1 2 2 13 1 1 4 2 2 1 2 1 253 1 25 _2_ 0 11 0 0 0 0 7 _0_ 1 I 1 1 1 11 1 6 10 3 12 10 2 13 10 21 13 21 0 435. 3 16 See 1 2 24 1 5 1 describing factors that determine text for a definition .

See text for a definition of the data.146 Table X. Counts of Observations of Relationships Between Can Mortuary 1? 1 2 3 3a 3b 4 4a 4b 5 5a 5b 6 7 8 9 10 11 12/17 13a 13b 14 15 16 18 19/22a 20a 20b 21 22b 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 Total "Matrix X sum 52a 52b 53 55a 62a 62b 63 1 1 1 1 64 56 57 58 59 AT 03 03 1 03 1 1 1 1 03 1 2 1 1 3 1 1 1 28 1 1 2 1 1 1 8 rows are 3 4 5 63 2 183 29 are 18 independent Columns variables mortuary response describing practices. . to the counts in Table V.

Mortuary Practices Practices and Their Determinants 147 and Their Determinants for Paramount Chiefdoms" 61/65 54 3 55b 81a 81b 1113 2 2 2 83 86 1 82 84 13 2 85 2 87 2 88 3 89 1 1 90 91 Total 223 25 1 1 1 0 4 0 0 0 0 3 12 0 0 1 1 1 1 12 1 1 1. 1111 1 2 1 25.5 1_1_1 2 1_22_ 2 _1 113 1 1 1_1_1 2 1_17_ 2 2 1 22 1 4 0 1_17_ _2 1_2_1 2 2 2 2 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 12 10 1 4 _0_ 0 1 1 1 1 4 2 3 0 0 4 _0_ 1 1 12 1 12 3 2 8 115 1 22.5 3 12 23 11 1 1 11 1 03 1 1 1112 1 112 53 practices.5 17 11 factors 1 4 2 14 133 7 0 21 2 1 0 VI 13 16 1 2913 through 7 12 21 8 12 Counts variables describing that determine mortuary in Tables .5 73 3 111 1 1 1 2 1.

may relate to many additional biasing factors. may reflect (1) incomplete of practices and causes. For example. certain kinds are and are not pos and interpretations statements. pp. causes. the student readers and me. that might Unfortunately. (2) the orthodox opinions of specialists. tutions such as myth or magic. Again. weaken the effect whatever of relationships might and mortuary practices. Given the nature Analytic. Differential (2) incomplete in turn. the variations to their actual ob and differential ethnographic investigation.e. tabulating cross-cultural beliefs of these various kinds would between be to exist beliefs Data. to specific practices and/or tight logical relationships selected. identifying screening beliefs of the third and fourth kinds did not prove to be possible. and their causes may not always be attributed mortuary practices of the HRAF cross-cultural variations alone. and the de terest of ethnographers in various practices and determinants. (3) 1954. some are probably Of these factors causing missing over the societies surveyed and have no or little ac distributed randomly re the kinds of body treatments effect. coverage. perhaps and some etic and a few (2. recorded here include largely emic The causes of mortuary practices some ones: primarily causes cited by informants. and Interpretive Limitations of descriptive sible to make. cumulated. These and. popular views. that informants have of different practices. and be regular cross-culturally. 237 (Malinowski. of relationships in the tabulated frequencies variations First. practices are (1) institutionalized i. the workings or biased data. In addition. between practices cited as determining The beliefs that ethnographers specific mortuary and that are tabulated here are also probably of several kinds. It would have been preferable do not necessarily bear the third kinds from study.148 Carr cross-cultural patterning might exist diversity would be to weaken whatever and their determinants. and reporting of various categories ethno survey and coding of the literature.68%) that seemed very clear to inferred by ethnographers. patterned include only part of the full for a society might corded by an ethnographer be symbolized. and servation. those embodied in social insti These beliefs. and gree of awareness of their own cultural system. and (4) individual speculations to have eliminated beliefs of the fourth 254). enduring. graphic These include the relative "visibility"of a practice or determinant physically in the relative and as a function of its temporal frequency and duration. perhaps. range of treatments used and some of the social personae . analyses. between and the collected data.

90. no attempt was made relationships among them within each specific society. and the approximate. causes. analysis is restricted found be here largely to inventorying. pp. individual speculations or post hoc institutionalized Most of the individual observations in the data base are causes of this second kind. for some Such approaches are discouraged by missing or sparse observations variables. different ranges of other biasing factors are probably systematic. The cross-cultural independent quality of the patterning can be taken as evidence of valid functional rela the variables. and Third. The infrequency of observations and ecology recorded in Table V (variables 6. (1) Weakest are proximate. such rela a very small percentage of all observed tionships comprise relationships. 29. A continuum of kinds of causes.Mortuary Practices and Their Determinants 149 in other might be cross-cul the ethnographer deaths infrequently. . to typify the modal practices. logical and/or apparently func tional relationships that are inferred by an ethnographer. cause turally. or autocorrelation to any possible culture-historical attributable dependence. pat ethnographic terning was sought among societies rather than within them. student recorder. with lists. To do so would have and cross-checking. relation Finally. the organization is not a common focus of ethnographic and history of growth of a cemetery nor need it be physically obvious to an ethnogra interest and description. 3-4) have warned may be spurious rather than functional. stronger are causes (2) Somewhat stated by informants of a single society. but might also bo post hoc significant. witnessed treatments and symbolized personae societies. the nature of causality constituted by the documented ships must be clarified. and only in a fashion through an exhaustive listing of presence-absence pretypological. These can be functionally explicitly or orthodox reasons. For example. and their relationships. tery organization well reflect these possible biases. the kinds of relationships tween mortuary practices and potential ordi causes. all practices and causes cited to occur in each society. from weak to strong. nal-scale commonality of practices. and the proposive nature of the sample. pher or fully understood reasons for traditional behaviors and ideas are order. causes. (3) Yet stronger causes are relationships that demonstrate cross-cul tural regularity over historically societies. Likewise. required extensive cultural reconstruction using many sources and domains of culture for each society. and affect the data in patterned ways. 91) may A second limitation of the data is that they are not readily to statistical and of commonly on ceme 24-27. and White Murdock that such relationships (1980. or orthodox rationales. missed. ecological obscure to a society's members. can be defined. As mentioned above. amenable among testing relationships modeling changes in variable states and relationships with sociopolitical complexity. or me for various traits of a single society. Instead. Randomly. Thus. the high by the participants of a culture. institutionalized. However.

restricted of factors (the columns ranges accurate picture is gained if focus is limited to only certain. 1980. (4) Finally. the strongest causes which are ultimate. functional relationships that tuary practices and other factors. Of the 1334 possible variable-pair number of cells in Table V) only ary practices and their determinants (the 517 (39%) were found to occur in the sampled societies. in Table V) crossculturally. The generalizations variables This section eralizations of seven broad questions that pertain to the framework presented within issues raised in the historical sections of this paper. 3-4). remains. allow those factors to be reconstructed from mortuary RESULTS first presents some inductively derived. First are those independent variables that are more likely between mortuary to involve symbolic and their relationships practices as opposed causes: social or philosophical-religious to physical. cir factors. Are Mortuary Practices and Remains. different. between mor the common. Also tested are some determinants sophical-religious common have used to reconstruct that archaeologists social propositions results also bear on the issue remains. These from mortuary organization of selecting relevant analytical variables. Arbitrarily Related and Within Societies? Cross-Culturally Causes/Referents Question Behaviors of mortu combinations Clearly no. A more relevant variables. Generalizations as Symbolic 1. . The section proceeds to focus on the deductive testing of Hertz's (1907) premise about the philo of mortuary practices. Specific kinds of mortuary practices (the rows in Table V) are caused by specific. cross-cultural gen of mortuary practices to their possible de of the relationships are with which those relationships terminants and the relative frequency can serve the as found across cultures. in this paper are causes of the all of the relationships evaluated Almost Their third kind: cross-cultural regularities evidencing valid functional relationships. pp. nature corresponds with the goal of the papen to find. can be demonstrated through historical research. to Their Determining and Forms.150 Carr tionships (Murdock andWhite. The generalizations archaeologist low-level models that define the probable relevance of particular mortuary are to solving particular research problems. historical causes of stability and change within a culture.

5 (62%) of a possible 702 relevant variable-pair combinations were revealed. these societies and cross-culturally. These conditions the repeated provide and Metcalf. Huntington 1979. war-dead. the afterlife or "social categorization of the deceased at death" rather than spe categories cross-cultural at death criminal. This con and their determinants of mortuary practices accords with the nonrandom between strained distribution relationships of social organization that Bin and dimensions specific mortuary practices ford (1971. 1979). Universal.g. reveal some relationships between surveys may spe cific practices and meanings Conclusions. 27. it is appropriate to screen re and ecological cumstantial. 5. Instead. itwould be naive to conclude that the specific mean . cific social detailed is a better than specific ideas about an afterlife (e. for reconstructing At the same time. as Binford (1971) did. 16) position (1971. 1984. 6. Table IV) found crossculturally. found here and by Bin The patterned. semideterminant relationships fac ford between mortuary practices and social and philosophical-religious that specific mortuary tors contradict Binford's p. only 437. pregnant). Second. that remains it is the structure. as a result of a variables that were observed sponse infrequently. and social requirements operational biological. mortuary practices and their meanings re . The relationships inventoried to general categories of meaning?for example. alone.. aspects of death and changes biological of language and world determinants examples. pp. Narrowing the data in this way. (see for the constrained Several factors are probably responsible range of in Table the practices and general meanings found between relationships occur are certainly set by V First.Mortuary Practices and Their Determinants 151 ones. practices In turn. being symbolic in nature. 110-114) are well appreciated in anthro are also and meanings between pology. as well as those that are lack of ethnographic investigation redundant (variables 4. of mortuary that is productive the past. 29). yet still constrained ranges of semideterminant show that relationships there is not an empirical basis for concluding. behaviors and forms. More (e.g. Second. 22b. in a given culture can usually be inferred from ings of mortuary practices in Table V pertain only their forms. practices relationships probably limited by the wide but finite range of logical structures. "beliefe about an afterlife" rather place). below). hold arbitrary relationships to their causes and referents within relate specific mortuary referent meanings. pp. 44 to the body are 60). by which a culture can be organized yet remain in regard to basic material. 1970. 26. Third. probably and reporting. especially basic world-view themes.. The natural environmental view content (Kearney. rather than the symbolic content. (Rappaport. to wide. some limitations on which relationships the constraints of worldly and their natural associa forms and processes basis for cross-culturally tions. 1968. "natural symbols" (Douglas.

Ecological Categories of Variables Determine Mortuary Practices? Table XII shows the frequencies with which variables of these different are shown were found to affect mortuary practices. and punishments Philosophical-religious of social organization. dimensions appear empirically for mortuary archaeology. horizontal social position. Question Observed 2. which are equivalent in Table V Significantly. This finding gives empirical credibility to the archae were dimensions through mortuary practices. Jung. Philosophical-Religious. philosophical-religious. to some degree.152 Can late in limited ways that possibly are patterned by universal psychological see also 1995. the afterlife. each of the major dimensions cell frequencies largest that archaeologists of social personae and social organization attempt to re reflected in mortuary practices and remains. and remains. some of which concern death or the body (e. and Circumstantial. the constrained found beyond relationships between practices and meanings probably reflects. missing discussed information above. 1990). 1990. and ecological categories (bottom of Table XH). Six di construct was frequently Table XI mensions commonly associated with several kinds of practices. . What Are theMost Cross-Culturally Practices and Particular Between Associations Particular Mortuary Determinants? Common to the lists these common relationships. physical.Grof and Grof. as well as to be valid topics of Question 3. 1964). Physical. With What Relative Frequencies Do Social. 44-60. personal at the time of death. resulting from sampling problems calf. 1964. vertical social position. 1980. ological At of the deceased. circumstan categories for both individual. independent variables (top of TableXII) and the in dependent tial. Finally. pp. explicitly Eliade.. investigation of social organization factors were balanced the same time. Walsh. archetypes (see Carr and Neitzel.Huntington andMet these three explanations is 1979. Exploring the scope of this paper. These are age. for a review of archetypes.g. gender. universal orders and their sym nature of the soul's journey and responsibilities to bols. practices to the afterlife. investigation ideas. Frequencies variables grouped by social.Goodman. the six social organizational determine factors that commonly mortuary by six philosophical-religious the These are beliefs about the soul. social classification of the deceased and the circumstantial identity. the cause of illness and death of the deceased.

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measures fer. are taken into account. age (especially and horizontal social position were observed adult distinction). such as clean/dirty. below). . 1981. are worthy of archaeological investigation male/female. p. 215) position of structural opposition within a culture's world view. Ucko. The infre those categories. and or life/death. 272. factor that determined mortuary The philosophical-religious practices most often is beliefs about universal orders and symbols. however Conclusions. or other archaeological remains. that most directly reflect power social organization of The two dimensions Among child versus and age?were observed social position and prestige distinctions?vertical most frequently. p. social factors outweigh circumstantial The great magnitude by which con contrasts with the common factors in determining mortuary practices case studies might in specific cern of archaeologists that mortuary variation as variables as much reflect the season of death and other environmental social organization (e. 15. from mortuary be reconstructible might themes that tend of the various world-view A more specific understanding is necessary in particular mortuary to be symbolized or reflected practices Another to realize this potential. determinants can possibly be attributed to for observing of ecological observation above. the the social factors. Chapman and Randsborg. This factor is one com ponent of Hertz's (1907. p. 277). ties in the number chances quent biases together summing all of the variables of a category also obtain when inequali The ordered relationships and the differential of variables among categories. 107) position that are to be understood largely as the product mortuary practices and remains of social organization. philo (see is beliefs about found almost as commonly determinant sophical-religious the nature of the soul and its effects on the living.156 Social Carr variables were found to affect mor and philosophical-religious than circumstantial and five to ten times more frequently tuary practices were noted several times variables. These ordered relationships hold both when comparing the independent variables individually (top of Table XII) and when (bottom of Table XII). 274. see below) contention that fear of the body/soul is an essential cause of the form of mortuary rituals.g. 1969.. vertical social position. discussed and social organizational factors were found to Philosophical-religious or perhaps the former in similar frequencies. determine mortuary practices dif factors are somewhat more common (bottom of Table XII). And these latter determinants physical more frequently than ecological determinants. This result sup that fundamental themes or axes ports Hodder's (1982a. There is no empirical basis for Tainter's (1978. several times more often than gender and personal identity as determinants. pp.

include body position. mortuary and disposition of the body. body ori entation was associated with philosophical-rehgious factors. than Some variables that more often reflected aspects of social organization social organization.. and the quantity of grave furniture. The first two factors are expectable. also see the many references within each of these). (Psychopomp to a land of the dead. 1971. pp. and the soul's jour ney to the afterlife. body orientation. entation with philosophical-religious give the in meditation and shamanic jour roles of these two conditions essential work cross-culturally and psychopomp neying. the number of socially rec ognized burial types. body orientation was found most commonly views. and these as sociations were The different society wide rather than sodality-specific. a society's beHefe about the afterlife. Merbs. of body position ment of furniture in the grave. Binford. or in communicating the living the deceased between and the dead. edly observed (e. societies sampled here and by Binford may explain this discrepancy. the cross-cultural association of burial orientation specifically with beliefe about the direction of an afterlife has been repeat 1971. Also in contradistinction results. healing. universal orders. The associations and ori themes is expectable. They are the archae and ranking that Gold ological correlates of corporate group organization activities stein (1976. 71. In contrast Body position common was observed most frequently to reflect the first two factors (TableXiy to a now below).g. 22) once to associate with horizontal social position. found through cross cultural survey (see below). respectively.) Moreover. 12-13. Instead. (Good tasks involve a shaman in guiding the soul of man. Are There Certain Mortuary Practices Social Factors More Often Than Philosophical-Religious Ones. p. p. the number of persons per grave. and Vice Versa? that were observed more shows those mortuary Table Xni practices or less frequently to reflect either social or philosophical-religious factors.Mortuary Practices and Their Determinants 157 that Reflect Question 4. 1981) and Tainter (1975). The central block of Table XIII lists a number of mortuary practices were found to have social and philosophical-religious that causes in ap . body orientation (1971. and the spatial arrange beliefe. and that appear to be useful for reconstructing beliefe. on the overall energy expended include cemetery internal organization. Supporting to reflect in this survey. 1990). from archaeological premise derived was not found Binford's cross-cultural survey. divination. specifically sodality affili to Binford's was ation. Gruber. to reflect philosophical-religious that were observed Some variables and that seem useful for reconstructing ideas more than social organization. these 1989. body orientation never found to reflect origin myths specific to a sodality.

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Are There Certain Kinds of Mortuary Practices that Cross-Culturally Are Determined by Only One or a Limited or Social Number of Solely Philosophical-Religious Factors? Organizational enumerates for each kind of mortuary its most practice associated at least five times with determinants?those commonly are the cell the practice. and the form of dis particular posal. often in roughly equal frequencies. and cemetery. and eco patterning: grave form. 10. to positioning and the dress of the attendants. of association. among these variables with ambiguous are several that archaeologists have commonly used to infer social meanings the kind of grave furniture. sampling effect. (variables 30-39). A total of 31 (97%) of the 32 observations of variables . There entation to this pattern. (1) Body ori appear to be certain qualifications relative to the cardinal directions (variable 4b) was found to be that affected body orientation are beliefs about the afterlife.160 Carr on the measure similar frequencies. regional. the number of factors that were docu Figure a mortuary to determine mented practice depends not so much on the na ture of the practice. body treatment and preparation. local. cross-culturally and social factors. It is not clear that any of the practices analyzed here are determined by a small set of factors across cultures. The ganizational expect to symbolize or depend on social relations: the number and/or potentially the relationship of corpse processors of funeral attendants. zonal grave location. Importantly. philosophical-religious It cannot be concluded from Table XIV that those mortuary practices are necessarily determined by a small number of factors cross-culturally suitable for reconstructing the past. in this study. the deceased. traits in contrast Question 5. but on the number of times it was observed?a itself. grave. The tabulated numbers of observations frequencies or more observations in 'able V The cut-off value of five includes the top observed among variable-pairs. proximately depending The analytic relevance of these variables to reconstructing social organiza tion or beliefs is debatable in general and should be demonstrated in any case study. Most to those with philosophical pertaining than with social or religious factors somewhat one would factors. "purer" indicators of them and more 1 shows that.8% most Table XIV determined largely by beliefs. associated to much more frequently are traits that exceptions recorded funerary to the body. These by multiple. frequent associations It is clear from Table XIV that most mortuary practices are determined common are usually a mix of factors.

5 to the deceased 8 8 57 88 54 Vertical social position 9 responsibilities cause of death 55b 58 59 60 Beliefs about health/safety of the living Horizontal social position 6 Age 6 Gender 5 3b: Body position at burial Vertical social position 8 Beliefs about universal orders 6 Beliefs about the afterlife 5 4b: Body orientation at burial Beliefs about the afterlife 9 Beliefs about universal orders 9 Beliefs about the soul's journey 55 7: Form of disposal 6 57 84 81a 81a 84a 83 56 54 59 81b 84 57 Social classification at death 13 Beliefs about cause of death 12 11 Age Beliefs about the soul's nature 10 Beliefe about universal orders 10 Vertical social position 8 83 51 55b Beliefs about the soul's journey 7.5 Social classification at death 13 Beliefs Beliefs Beliefs about about about universal orders 10. Most Common Practices Associated Five of Mortuary Determinants Practices for those or More Times with Some Determinant Number of Independent variable 1: Body preparation 15 observations* 81b Beliefs about the soul's nature 84 59 57 56 54 88 83 Beliefs about universal orders 12 12 Age Vertical social position 10 Social classification at death 9 Beliefs about cause of death 8 Beliefs about responsibilities to the deceased Beliefs about the soul's journey 8 8 81a 86 Beliefe about the afterlife 7 Beliefs about a soul's development 2: Body treatment 5.Mortuary Practices and Their Determinants Table XTV.5 Location of death 5 Beliefs about health/safety of the living 5 .5 81b 56 84 Beliefs about the afterlife 13.

5 to the deceased 7 3rd-party 55b 56 58 Beliefs about health/safety of the Irving 7 Social classification at death 6 Horizontal social position 5 13b: Source of grave furniture 61 Personal identity 55 of grave furniture 14: Quantity 57 Vertical social position 55 16: Overall energy expenditure 57 59 Vertical social position 22 12 Age . Continued Number Independent variables 9: Grave form observations0 of 57 59 84 81b Vertical social position 14 Horizontal social position 11 Beliefs Beliefs about about universal the soul's orders nature 9.Table XIV.5 7 83 84 Beliefs about the soul's journey 65 Beliefs about cause of death 5 12/17: Local grave location 57 59 81b Vertical social position 11 Age Beliefs Beliefs about about the soul's universal nature orders 11 7 11 54 84 Beliefe about cause of death 9 Beliefs about the afterlife Horizontal social position 6 Beliefs about responsibilities to the deceased Beliefs about 3rd-party souls 5 81a 58 88 87 6 6 51 63 56 61 Location of death 5 Need for access to the body after funeral 5 Social classification at death 5 Personal identtity 5 13a:Kind of grave furniture 61 81b 81a 83 60 57 59 84 88 87 Personal identity 20 Beliefs about the soul's nature 17 Beliefs about the afterlife 17 Beliefs about the soul's journey 16 Gender 14 Vertical social position 13 Age Beliefs Beliefs Beliefs about about about universal orders responsibilities souls 11 10 10.

5 55b Beliefs about health/safety of the living 5 20b: Grave formally demarked 57 81b Vertical social position 7 Beliefs about the soul's nature 7 88 Beliefs about responsibilities to the deceased 23: Number of socially recognized burial types 6 59 57 56 54 12 Age Vertical social position 11 Social classification at death 5 Beliefe about cause of death 5 28:Within-cemetery grave location of burial types Horizontal social position 6 30: Funeral oratory 58 81a 83 88 Beliefe about the afterlife 7 Beliefe about the soul's journey 7 Beliefs about responsibilities to the deceased 31: Funeral song 7 88 57 Beliefs about responsibilities to the deceased Vertical Beliefs Beliefs social about about position the soul's universal 5 5 journey orders 5 dance and games 6 81a 83 84 Beliefs about the afterlife 5 32: Funeral 88 Beliefs about responsibilities to the deceased 6 . ecozone location of disposal area 84 81b 56 Beliefs about universal orders 8 Beliefe about the afterlife 6 Social classification at death 5 19/22a: Regional location of disposal area relative to settlement 81b Beliefe about the soul's nature 115 56 Social classification at death 10 59 Age 9 54 Beliefs about cause of death 15 57 Vertical social position 7 87 Beliefe about third-party souls 7 84 Beliefs about universal orders 5. Continued_ Number variables of observations0 88 58 56 Beliefs about responsibilities to the deceased 8 Horizontal social position 6 Social classification at death 5 18: Regional.Mortuary Practices and Their Determinants 163 _Table Independent XTV.

ornamentation 8 84 58 60 Beliefs about universal orders 9.Table XIV.5 11 81a 81b 84 Beliefs about the afterlife 5 Beliefs about the soul's nature 5 Beliefs about universal orders 5 35: Funeral time and duration.5 Horizontal social position 8 Personal identity 5 37: Grief.5 Beliefs about universal orders 6 Location of death 5 36: Funeral dress. Continued Number Independent variables observations0 of 33: Funeral attendance and positioning of the living 58 57 59 60 Horizontal social position 9 Vertical social position 5 Age 5 Gender 5 34: Funeral meals/fasting 88 57 58 83 87 Beliefe about responsibilities to the deceased Vertical social position 7 Horizontal social position 7 Beliefs Beliefs about about the soul's third-party journey souls 6 5. secondary funerals 81b 57 59 88 54 84 51 Beliefe about the afterlife 11 Vertical social position 10 Age 9 Beliefs about responsibilities to the deceased Beliefs about cause of death 6. bereavement. and grave visitation 88 58 84 81b Beliefs about responsibilities to the deceased Horizontal social position 11 Beliefs about universal orders 105 Beliefs about the soul's nature 9 12 57 59 55b Vertical social position 8 Age 7 Beliefs about health/safety of the living 5 38: Corpse processors and grave diggers 58 84 88 60 57 Horizontal social position 14 Beliefe about universal orders 12 Beliefe about responsibilities to the deceased 9 Gender 7 Vertical social position 5 .

fies Tkinter's finding considerably was found in that energy expenditure here to also reflect other social dimensions and beliefs 58% of the time. Continued_ Number of observations41 practices Independent variables funerary 39: General 55b 83 Beliefe about health/safety of the living 8 Beliefs about the soul's journey 8 87 88 59 54 81b Beliefe about third-party souls 7 Beliefs about responsibilities to the deceased Age 6 Beliefs about cause of death 6 Beliefe about the soul's nature 6 7 84 Beliefe about universal orders 6 of observations and The (determinant) is found. This was the case for 34 (42%) of the 80 observations of energy expenditure. or universal orders and structural oppo sitions. V. it can reflect other dimensions ceased.Mortuary Practices and Their Determinants 165 _Table XIV. observed (3) Grave locationwithin the cemetery (variable 28) was documented to reflect most observations primarily his or her kin group. or age. as discussed above. This finding is expectable relative to the practices of shamanism and and beliefs about the direction of an afterlife. The pattern frequently the horizontal social position of the deceased. restricted resources (see below). meditation. p. societies the 31 sampled the soul's journey to the afterlife. age of the deceased is logically compatible . Goldstein's results must be qualified in that within-cemetery and grave location was found here to reflect the vertical social position as horizontal almost as frequently social position. However. which affects vertical social position. She documented across cultures that a permanent. with the more specific findings of Goldstein (1976. typically a lineal descent group. This was the case in 6 (27%) of the 22 of grave location. energy expenditure Although usually or always reflects the rank of the de as well. Only a of association between given independent a given response variable prac (mortuary to the cell frequencies in five or more societies "The number variable association in Table of tice). bounded area for the exclusive disposal of a social group's dead?either a cemetery or a portion of it?usually rep resents a corporate group. is the number of societies in which the those number is equivalent observed associations are listed. 61). At the same time. as listed in column 3. This result supports on burial re Tkinter's (1975) universal finding that the energy expended flects the rank of the deceased the result also quali (see below). 1981. (2) The energy expended overall on mortuary rites (variable 16) was to reflect predominantly the vertical social position of the de ceased. with rights over the use and/or control of crucial.

1. to a large degree. a mortuary practice 20 No. this a mortuary to determine of factors that were observed number practice a function of the sample of observations number is. the practice rather than its nature. The study in of .166 Carr 26 24 22 ?js 20 o ? a > 18 a 3 16 a c c 14 1 Im 12 10 2 O -M ? ? 0 o 8 * 4 kl KEY: 2 b. of 40 observations in relationship 60 of with 80 some 100 determinant 120 practice 140 160 the mortuary Fig.

. (2) Form of disposal of the body was observed in both surveys to reflect the age and vertical social position of the deceased. "number of burial types. than social ones. the gender of pended primarily the deceased. it was also found here to be determined often by the circumstantial social at death. was found funeral. The finding cor frequently roborates linkagesmade by Binford (1971. data in Table XIV only partially Differences between bear out the cross-cultural asso ciations thatBinford (1971:Table 4) found between mortuary practices and their determinants. in both surveys to reflect the ver (1) Body treatment was documented tical or horizontal social position of the deceased. in contrast to Binford's (1971) report. which instead tended to reflect a more equal mix of social factors and beliefs. Tkinter (1975.21). to be affected largely by social factors." Again. andWebb and Snow (1974. the conditions of death. 17. 31) both philosophical-religious factors more This was the pattern for 35 (70%) of 50 observations of funeral oratory and 30 (62%) of 48 observations of funeral song. However. the location of death. A comparison of the two surveys follows. see below). It did not associate frequently here with in contrast to Binford's (1971) findings. reflect associations the different the two surveys' results probably samples of societies drawn and the small number of that Binford's of the specifics survey revealed. Body treatment was not found here to be determined frequently by the conditions of death. Saxe (1970). which contributes to vertical social position.5 observations of funeral attendance and positioning. These relationships held for 33 (47%) of 70 obser vations The of this mortuary practice.Mortuary Practices and Their Determinants 167 (4) The number of burial types recognized by a society (variable 23) was found position. reflected (5) The presence of funeral oratory and song (variables 30. and various kinds of beliefs. to be determined primarily by the social factors of vertical social or age. 167) between the social rank of the deceased. At the same time. which relates to the energy expended (6) Funeral and positioning of the living at the funeral (variable 33). The pattern was not found for the other studied funerary variables. and the energy expended on funerary ritual and burial. pp. and universal orders that pertain largely to the male/female structural opposition. it also associ ated here often with age. This was the case for 26 (63%) of 41. and various of the deceased classification beliefs. and grave diggers (variable 38) de of corpse processors (7) Selection on kinship relationship to the deceased. the number of persons having duties to the deceased. for 23 (47%) of the 49 observations of the variable. This was so the pattern generally agrees with Tkinter's (1975) findings. gender. on a attendance. p.

3 212.5 5.5 12. are Numbers level of sociopolitical ties of a given complexity.2 217. by (weighted by) the number of independent variables in the . 05 Petty hierarchies 15. The Balance with Which Religious. 2. 11. Ecology Horticultural 13. Ecology 1. 0.5 Paramount chiefdoms Beliefs Social position requirements Physical of death Circumstances Ecology_L_05_ column: aSecond between 156. Philosophical and Ecological Factors Physical. 4. Beliefs Social position Physical requirements of death Circumstances Ecology 1. 2. totals of all independent to the sum of the column equivalent in Tables VI through X for societies of a given category variables of different complexity.6 35. Mortuary Social. 36. variables all independent or ecological circumstantial.0 10. physical. 0.1 102. column. 25 125 4518.5 2.5 3. social.9 17. with Varies Practices Sociopolitical Complexity Factors Number Band-level hunter-gatherers of observations*6 Beliefs Social position Physical requirements Circumstances of death 15.8 Ecology 1.6 18. tribes Beliefs Social position requirements Physical of death Circumstances 332.168 Can Table XV. 0.8 95.5 27.2 16. (mortuary tively.5 Complex hunter-gatherers Beliefs Social position Physical requirements of death Circumstances 0. respec categories.2 184. but divided *Third column: same total as in the previous category.7 100.4 1603 15.0 16.9 1913 16.0 4.512. Determine Circumstantial. for socie variable and any response practice). 1.0 20. 3. of association of observations summed number of the philosophical-religious.

These corroborating results should not be as evidence that the quantity of grave furniture is a strong taken. vertical social position indicator of vertical social position. and Circumstantial. This pattern the kind of grave furniture (13 observations). Does the Balance of Social. horizontal social position. Philosophical-Retigfous. including as in Binford's (1971) survey. Yet. practices Question 6. categories reflected the horizontal social posi infrequently (4) Body orientation tion of the deceased in this study and in contrast to Binford's (1971) find factors associated ings. Philosophical-religious this mortuary practice (see above). it was also revealed here social position and by many to be caused almost as frequently by horizontal of beliefe. study?as this practice was well as many found here to reflect more frequently the per sonal identities of the decease?a dimension that Binford (1971) did not other social factors and beliefs. The deceased's was found to be indicated much less commonly by the quantity of grave furniture (only 5. circumstantial associated (6) The kind of grave furniture placed with the deceased in both surveys often with the deceased's gender and vertical social position. however. However. Physical. Local grave location was also revealed here to be determined very frequently by a num factors and moderately ber of philosophical-religious frequently by expect and physical factors. complexity.Mortuary Practices and Their Determinants 169 by (3) Grave form was often found in both surveys to be determined the vertical social position of the deceased. Practices Vary with Determinants of Mortuary Ecological Sociopolitical Complexity? TableXV shows thefrequency with which these different kinds of fac tors were differing revealed to affect sociopolitical any mortuary practice or form for societies of For societies at each level of complexity. and almost as often here by age?a to one's vertical social position. but not the conditions of death. that social rank is infrequently re flected by the quantity of furniture in the grave and is symbolized much more often by other mortuary (see below).5 observations) than by other archaeologically visible cor relates such as energy expenditure form (14 ob grave (22 observations). and age. etc. here and in Binford's of grave furniture was documented (7) Quantity to be determined most commonly by the deceased's vertical (1971) survey variable contributing social position. supports Tkintefs (1978) survey finding. . (5) Local grave location was found here here overwhelmingly with to reflect a broad range of vertical social position. factors. servations). able.

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Philosophical-religious sociopolitical complexity (Table relatively more often in simpler societies. that the importance of circumstantial physical to social and philo of mortuary practices compared determinants ones would be greatest in simpler. Consider physical societies determinants Table XVI. members. the reversal of this trend and the increased importance of be liefs in paramount chiefdoms may reflect the evolution and institutionaliz . mortuary practices complexity which Second. This was not found to be the case entirely. Small-scale. The balance ious factors determinants factors and philosophical-relig of social organizational in determining mortuary practices also shifts systematically with were observed XVI. the mobility of a society is apparently not among the most fundamental determinants of its mortuary practices. and systematically for societies of intermediate sociopolitical complexity (complex hunter-gath erers and horticulturalists). First. their greater mobility would make location and timing of deaths and need for ritual access to the body more critical factors in structuring mortuary practices. and It was expected. 7). hunter-gatherer and sophical-religious the horticultural societies.Mortuary Practices and Their Determinants 171 social and philosophical-religious variables were found to affect mortuary and physical variables. Thus. Thus. which summarizes information from TableXV TableXVI (columns 3. the specialization and the diversity of its categories of social personae. far more often than circumstantial and practices were observed more often than ecological these latter two determinants ones. society gives way to a larger society of classified an increase in the number of channels by These developments require are symbolized and communicated social personae if an effective level of social integration and functioning is to be maintained.4. So as sociopolitical cial factors become relatively more frequent systematically increases from band-level hunter-gatherers complexity through petty hier for which philo archies. as sociopolitical complexity of roles of its increases. so does the size of a society. Mortuary rituals are one potential channel. Presumably. sophical-religious Two reasons may explain this trend. a priori. This trend is seen in both the varying absolute frequencies with which circumstantial and physical causes were observed for the societies (Table XVI. The trend reverses with paramount chiefdoms. 5). columns 6. beliefs again increase in their relative frequency. These ordered relations did not shift with sociopolitical complexity. 5) shows a trend for circumstantial and to be most and hierarchical important for band-level at the ends of the hierarchies and paramount (petty chiefdoms) less important examined cultural evolutionary spectrum. one would expect social factors to become more important in determining as sociopolitical increases. to the extent that they are public. column 3) and the relative frequencies of circum to social and philosophical-religious stantial and physical factors compared ones (Table XVI columns 4. face-to-face relations.

6 34.1 Age Gender Personal identity Horticultural Vertical Horizontal social position social position tribes 47 39 66 24 13 hierarchies 66 39 32 29 10.9 20.5 10 13 26.5 24. . 100-108).4 8. Ancestor worship and the sanctity of ancestral lines have their roots in tribal societies but are 1960.1 12. pp.8 Personal identity Petty Vertical social position Horizontal social position 37.2 10.9 Age Gender Personal identity Chiefdoms Vertical Horizontal social position social position Age Gender Personal identity aNumber and of observations variable for that of association (mortuary independent between practice).1 16. in chiefdoms that evolved for maintaining and among the primary means justifying differences in rank and rights to office and land (Service.4 32.1 18.9 Age Gender 117 6.5 21. 1962.0 13.4 16.1 20.4 a given variable independent The number to is equivalent in Table V.5 22.2 hunter-gatherers 21 10 26. (Swanson.4 5.5 of of Percentage observations by and/or Determine Carr Band-level Vertical social position 32 Horizontal social position 12 Age Gender 9 Personal identity 18 Complex Vertical Horizontal social position social position 18 20.3 2.172 Table XVEL Shifts through Cultural Evolution in the Commonality of Various Dimensions of the Social Persona Mortuary that are Symbolized Practices Number Dimension of the Social Persona observations* hunter-gatherers 36.3 12. as means for legitimizing vertical differ ing of beliefe in ancestor worship ences in social position. variable any response the column total 28 29 18 7 2 333 34.

expect in determining mortu beliefs to regain importance philosophical-religious ary rituals at this point in cultural evolution. 162).i. and (4) .Mortuary Practices and Their Determinants 173 KEY. -horizontal vertical social position age social position -gender w*rMVM personal identity j_i_i_i_i v \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ the social \ \ \ persona and \ \ i that comprise Fig. The balance of dimensions and/or symbolize mortuary changes with practices evolution. the specific kinds of beliefs that were Supporting in paramount chie found to determine mortuary practices more commonly to fdoms than in simpler societies include beliefs about (1) responsibilities the deceased. the status and change of status of the person at death (2) and their effect on the living. 2. Ma . (3) the causes of sickness and death. communicated. this second point. Mortuary practices about continuity with the ancestors and their social hierarchy can be sym one would and exercised. Consequently. bolized. sociopolitical complexity that determine over cultural are a natural domain in which such beliefs p.

more significant in life and death. include vertical The dimensions complexity. the social categories unique characteristics. Beliefs during life also often deter in paramount mined mortuary chiefdoms. This pat sociopolitical is expectable for two reasons. but are less relevant to practices this argument. First. social position on mortuary The increased influence of horizontal prac for a second increases is also expectable tices as sociocultural complexity is marked reason. lineal descent groups may. and govern foreign and communicating the symbolizing re of . ciopolitical social position. 2 show the frequencies with which different di mensions of the deceased's social persona were observed practice by any mortuary social position. a person rather than personally to which he or she belongs. they may only or primarily generally ex of labor. in addition. and personal horizontal identity. and provide the framework as lineal descent these developments. which pertain to lineal descent groups and sodalities. and material the recruitment patterns. horizontal crease systematically in frequency with tern as a determinant. quency comes to be known by As society becomes increasingly larger. gender. as a determinant. a that Constitute 7. In more mobile increases. Does the Balance Question of Dimensions inMortuary Practices Social Persona and That Are Reflected Vary with Sociopolitical Complexity? TableXVII and Fig. declined systematically in fre First. change. This trend is expectable. Sodalities may regulate community nomic lations. one would law and order expect internally. A number of patterns were discovered. societies. control access to land and strategic resources. social position. and the rights and obligations group membership. over the course of cultural evolution through the chief the number of functions and importance of lineal descent groups dom-level.174 Can or safety of the living in relation to the the physical health requirements about the soul's development dead. was found to in and/or be symbolized for societies to determine of varying so complexity. The evolution of tribal and more complex societies by of sodalities and an increase in their power and field of the development activities and eco subsistence action. maintain Thus. personal identity. one would to become it defines. regulate marriage In more sedentary societies. relations. With function and personal des to community become more groups important and communicating of descent expect the symbolizing tiny. for ranking and political power. Second. with increasing sociopolitical complexity. age.

like gender. which have a strong on funerary expenditures. although gender is commonly one basis for prestige and power. Moreover. thus. community affili ation. candidates Fourth. at the opposite extreme. most narrow criterion that societies use to select leaders and that be come important to symbolize and communicate in life and death. are more essential to communicate. as a basis for vertical social position. and/or other such criteria are used to narrow the field of possible to a final few and. practices this situation is overshadowed correlates with and is a possibly by the fact that age usually critical basis for vertical social position and the size of a person's social network. First. natural symbol and clothing is usually an obvious indicator of this dimension of one's social persona. pp. Age. and T?inter (1978) that the characteristics on the social rank of the deceased and the number depend fundamentally of persons having duties to the deceased. of funeral rites and burial 17.6 Tests This of Some Common shifts from Premises About Mortuary search Practices deter section the inductive for cross-cultural to the deductive minants of mortuary practices that are useful in archaeology for reconstructing zation. kinship affiliation. Binford (1971. This pattern concords with arguments of Saxe (1970). and continues with tests of archaeologi about social organization. hunting skills. it is typically not among the final.Mortuary Practices and Their Determinants 175 to become more im like descent group membership. The body is an obvious. with inhu mation. This finding is reasonable for two reasons. might to affect mortuary less commonly. Third. portant in life and death through cultural evolution. mortuary practices as sociopolitical complexity low relative to those of other dimensions of the quency was consistently social persona. then be expected However. oratory skills. Second. gender does not require any special mortuary practices to symbolize it. bearing . The section begins with a test of Hertz's beliefs testing of certain premises beliefe and social organi (1907) premise concerning about the soul and afterlife. gender showed no significant trend in its frequency in affecting its fre increases. Strength. sodality membership. cally common propositions Hertz's Premise Middle-range theory for reconstructing philosophical-religious beliefs and world-view assumptions from mortuary practices and remains hardly serve as a natural 6It is true that the deceased's body might symbol of his or her age. were found to affect mortuary practices with consistently high frequency in societies of all degrees of complexity. vertical social position and/or age.21). diplomacy.

Huntington are determined in their structure and content by the rela tuary practices the corpse of the deceased. the the greater the level of social disruption the greater the elabora greater the fear of the corpse.5 42 53 42 . and alleviate fears. consequently.5 Location of death 9 14 Personal identity 9 14 Beliefs Beliefs about about the soul's development souls 8 13 8. 32 26 25 19 18 15 11. Specifically. that mor argued essentially 1979). This relationship provides a social organizational a per the more prestigious of mortuary explanation practices.5 115 third-party 63 53 The Need for access to the body for the funeral Cause of death physically 5 5 remaining column: independent summed variables variables number and have less than of 10 5 five observations association (mortuary between practices) between practices) a 1. as taken from Table number summed 'Third column: and variables given independent of observations response variables of association (mortuary 2. 7. and. 12/17. .5 9.5 64 87 Need to hide/protect the body 8. three kinds of personae: the tionships between and the remaining of mourners. Ordered by Their Frequency of Observation Number Independent 84 Beliefs about universal variable orders 47. 3b. a 1. 3b.5 of observations0. to him son. "Second of observations response V. (1907. are duty-bound or her.6 81b 56 57 59 54 81a 83 88 60 55b 58 85 51 61 86 Beliefs about the soul's nature Social classification at death 38 43 Vertical social position 35 46 31 Age Beliefs about the cause of death 31 40 Beliefs about the nature of the afterlife Beliefs about the soul's journey 24 27 Beliefs about responsibilities to the deceased Gender 15 18 Beliefs about health/safety of the living Horizontal social position 14 20 Origin myths 9. middle-range of mortuary available is the model practices ently developed by Hertz Hertz and Metcalf. Test of Hertz's Hypothesis: Independent Variables that Determine How the Body isHandled.5 54. as taken from Table V. most powerful. society to the corpse entails the obligations of the mourners The relationship of the living to the dead. the greater the number of persons that at the death of that person. This chain of tion of the funeral to balance obligations Table XVffl. 4b. variables given independent 2. soul of the deceased. The Carr of this kind pres framework single. 7. 4b.176 exists.

Hertz's of the corpse to be (1907) premise relating the manipulation liefs about the soul has been applied ethnologically to interpret the mor tuary practices of a few societies (Cuevas. pp. relationship of the soul to the corpse gives a philosophical-religious of mortuary In this case. These in culturally appropriate ways. 17. p. in reconstructing archaeologists it suggests how some beliefe can determine mortuary Second. but not archaeologically. the soul's jour ney to the afterlife. the soul is said to become strong and worthy of membership the society of souls in the afterlife and able to leave the living world. Thus. Im the body stands as a metaphor because for the soul. wander home The or illness. Saxe. lest the soul of the deceased resolved be be tional and economic upset and imperil the living. validity has yet to be tested thoroughly. explanation bonds between the living and deceased must be gradu and replaced by new bonds between the living. Huntington and Metcalf. less. 1993. The relationship of the soul to the living involves the "unfinished busi the survivors and the deceased. This relationship ness" between provides a social-psychologLcal emo of mortuary practices. 14). rather than simply serve rectly and independently as a framework for expressing social organization. and cause mischief in dry bones. This process ally dismantled involves the two issues of inheritance and the appropriate social forms of issues must expression of grief. and contagion" in sympathetic magic (Frazier. the afterlife. the soul portantly. Table XVIII provides data for making such a test. 1971. can be appeased the survivors' manipulating and manipulated the by This equation follows from the more general "laws of similarity corpse. p. Specifically. For example. 1979). in part through funeral practices. 1970. First. the manner in which the body is handled in various mortuary practices may directly reflect a society's beliefe about the nature of the soul. 1929). and other aspects of world view. practices di of social organization. Hertz. 1979. during the liminal period. the state of the corpse explanation practices. to be a "model" of the the death process is taken by mourners through state of the soul (Huntington and Metcalf. 1907.Mortuary Practices and Their Determinants 177 that the energy expended logic is the basis for the archaeological premise on funeraiy activities and burial reflects the prestige of the person (Binford. as the corpse rots and becomes so the soul of the deceased is thought to be uncomfortable. it (1907) third relationship a theoretic and heuristic framework that can guide provides middle-range some past beliefs from physical remains. When the corpse is reduced to hard. 69). 21. among the Berawan and other groups of Borneo (Huntington formless. Six mortuary prac tices were taken as measures of "handling and manipulating the corpse": . and Metcalf. Hertz's is important to archaeology. Its cross-cultural 1979).

Binford with (1971) found both of these traits to associate crossculturally literature. Vertical Of Social Position and Energy Expenditure that mortuary all the cultural characteristics have archaeologists to reconstruct. other factors pertain rather than the soul also determined ing to social organization corpse han taken to measure of the several variables of the dling. is indicated by the kinds and the deceased. 26. 119-122) have reviewed the rele vant A in this literature is the degree to which the vertical social or his/her family. Stickel (1968) argued that both the kinds and quan tities of items placed in graves distinguish rank from egalitarian societies. p. as expected. pp. At the same time. the varied mortuary tasks of "burial pro archaeologically. and local grave location. The support found here for Hertz's premise suggests that certain kinds those related to handling of mortuary practices and remains. This was found to be the second most frequent of how the body is handled. position in the grave and other expenditures of furniture placed made quantities while disposing of the body. Also. The single in variable that one would expect from Hertz's to most dependent premise affect how the body is handled is beliefs about the soul's nature and its effects upon the living. is the most common. body preparation the form of disposal of the body. Finally. 1971b. 89. Whittlesey has reviewed (1978. beliefs about determinant the nature of the afterlife and the soul's journey were commonly observed to affect how the body is handled. only body orientation the kinds of beliefs predicted by Hertz' premise. Tainter. especially the have good potential for reconstructing world views and beliefs past corpse. pp. body position and orientation at burial. 1981. 128-136). The factors found to determine these six practices were then ordered in the cross-culturally table by the sum of their frequencies of association with the practices. by including ideas about the afterlife and the soul's journey (Table XIV). 1978.178 Carr and treatment. handling at burial was found to be affected primarily corpse. The frequencies were derived from TableV Hertz's (1907) theory is largely supported by the data. pp. key issue vertical social position. 29) and Tainter (1978. grams" and the diverse types and locations of remains that they produce seem important for reconstructing some kinds of beliefs as well as the social prestige of individuals and social complexity (Brown. social inequality Brown attempted (1981. 98-100) a number of traditional archaeological studies that explicitly assumed both of the kinds and quantities of grave furniture to reflect vertical social position. In particular. .

. to area relative location of disposal Regional settlement 7 3. arguing that." or more practices appropriately.Mortuary Practices and Their Determinants 179 Table XDL Mortuary Practices That Are theMost Commonly Determined by the Vertical Social Position of theDeceased Frequency of observations0 Mortuary practice 16 9 13a 23 12/17 1 35 2 Number Percentage Overall energy expenditure 22 11. The number equals the number of societies inwhich the association is found.7 Number of types of burials recognized socially Local grave location 11 5.6 Funeral meals 7 3.6 11 3b 7 37 19/22a Body position at burial Form of disposal Grief. 1978. 121) reacted to Stickel's study. tuary ritual. as listed in Table V. (3) the extent and duration of mor to the ritual.0 Grave form14 7. theo retically.6 20b 34 Grave formally demarkated 7 3.6 5. 121). and (5) human sacrifice.1 bereavement. through a cross-cultural semideterminant. 8 4.2 Body treatment 9 4. T?inter went on to find. (4) material contributions All of these are forms of "energy expenditure/' a polythetic variable that T?inter favored as the best indicator of social rank and one that always of 103 societies. cial rank. survey T?inter a set of practices that most consistently associate with so are (1) the complexity of body treatment. The percentage in column 4 is the of observations (mortuary variable with a given of vertical social position response (V57) associating out of 194. p.6 Body preparation 10 5. p. 1978.1 84.5 associations some of vertical social position with practice) practice). (mortuary (1975. T?inter did not commonly find the kind and quantity of furniture placed in the grave to indicate the social rank of a person. many kinds of mortuary practices can reflect vertical social posi tion because mortuary behavior is symbolic and the relationship between and their meanings is thus "arbitrary.1 and grave visitation 8 4. T?intefs findings are now well accepted in the archaeological literature.6 aColumn 3 lists the number of observations of vertical social position (V57) associating with a given number variable response response variable (mortuary practice).2 Funeral time and duration 10 5. Grave furniture was found to mark social rank in less than 5% of 93 societies that he surveyed (T?inter. These associated with social rank in his survey.2 Kinds of grave furniture 13 6. (2) construction and placement of the interment facility.

121) suggested.5 relationships and in 13 (42%) of 31 societies. it appears that several kinds of mortuary practices fre indicate the vertical social position of the deceased and are good quently for reconstructing candidates These include the over this archaeologically.180 Cross-cultural data for Carr Tkinter/s (1975. However. expenditure reflected vertical so quently by vertical social position. 1978) findings. overall energy all of its specific forms) was determined most fre (considering of the interment facility (variable 9). and feasting as a material 34). First. the kind of offerings placed in the grave. testing his Second. being associated of grave furniture was determined in by vertical social position Quantity cases only 5. the duration of the funeral (variable to the funeral (variable contribution 35). contrasting with T?in quite ter's (1975. fifth. each of the specific forms of energy expenditure with social rank and that were sur noted to associate consistently (1978) here were commonly found in this study to reflect vertical social veyed position. Only 5. served to reflect the vertical social position of the deceased. on the funeral and burial. 1978). the kind of furniture placed in the grave was observed often to be affected by vertical social position. These forms include body treatment (variable 2). It associated with vertical social position 13 times (6. determined by (1975. 5% of 93 societies approximately ture to indicate social rank.8%) of this association were found here among the 194. The table corroborating findings empirical to be determined shows those mortuary that were observed practices by The data document vertical social position most several pat commonly. the five mani all amount of energy expended festations of energy expenditure cited by T?inter (1975.5 Tainted (1975. the construction of the various mortuary practices surveyed here. . in accord with and in contrast to Binford's. in the grave was rarely ob the quantity of furniture placed Fourth. terns. The quantity and kind of grave furniture are not the sole nor the best indicators of vertical social position.7%) out of of vertical all 194.5 (18%) of 31 societies. social position with is much more This in which Tainter some determinant than the frequent observed grave furni In conclusion. 1978)survey findings (2. p. that T?inter Third. 1978) arguments and are given in Ikble XIX. many kinds of mortuary practices are approximately equally as T?inter the vertical social position of the deceased. Kind of grave furniture was revealed here to be the third most common mortuary by vertical social practice determined position. Energy expenditure as frequently as the next several most cial position almost twice commonly affected practices.5 cases of with some dependent vertical social position variable. 1978. but probably not their quantity.

Table XIV). T?intefs Social Position and Grave Location the deceased's vertical so (1971) found that. Peebles. Vertical social position and two other factors were tied as the most frequent determinants of local grave location. is often indicated by the local location of the grave. commonly associated with local grave location (variable 12/17. The number of societies the in which equals association is found. Determinants of Within-Cemetery Grave the Cemetery Location and Formal Demarcation of Number Determining variable Observations0 28: Within-cemetery grave location of 58 57 59 52b 56 Horizontal social position Vertical social position Age Timing of death Circumstantial social classification at death 60 54 81a 81b Gender Beliefs about cause of death Beliefs about the afterlife Beliefs about the soul's nature 83 87 Beliefe about the soul's journey Beliefs about third party souls 20a: Cemetery formally demarked 58 81b Horizontal social position Beliefs about the soul's nature 2 2 64 57 61/65 83 84 Need to hide/protect the body Vertical social position Personal identity Beliefs about the soul's journey Beliefs about universal orders 88 with Responsibilities to the deceased "The number variable 28 or 2a associating of response of observations (mortuary practice) a given independent the number variable. as listed in Table V. This re case studies to be borne out by archaeological also appears among the results of 1971). Vertical Binford cial position lationship (Brown. 1978) the vertical social position of the deceased Here.6%) out of 114 associations of local grave location with some vari able. Vertical social position was indicated by local grave location in 11 (9. but is not mentioned cross-cultural survey. . Also. vertical social position was the second most common factor found to determine within-cemetery location (variable 28. cross-culturally.Mortuary Table Practices and Their Determinants 181 XX. (1975. Tables XIY grave 1971b.

respectively. There is little support for tion generally of the deceased was not among social position the this idea. This corporate con the use and/or control of crucial but restricted trol is most of lineal descent from the dead. whereas Goldstein's premise focuses specifically 20a) on descent groups. The by means likely to be attained more structured and formal the disposal of area.. pp. is supported The validity of this premise of both within-cemetery observed determinant The most frequently grave of the cemetery location (variable 28) and formal demarcation (variable is the horizontal social position of the deceased (Table XX). grave location At the same time. proposed that area for the exclusive if a permanent. 1981) premise must be further factors beyond ligious may be indicated by the bounding it a cemetery or a section within a cemetery social (Table XX). be At the same time. informally broadened and simplified Saxe's premise by relating burial spatial distribu to corporate group differentiation. Horizontal observed with moderate frequency to determine local grave location (Table XTV: variable 12/17). ?kinship groups of unspecified kinds. Horizontal Social Position and Burial Location Goldstein (1976. Horizontal observed causes of the two spatial variables. commonly regional re location of the disposal area relative to the ecozone and to the set gional tlement (Table XIV: variables social position was 18. perhaps without intending to. 123. qualifying Saxe (1970). 19/22a). 136). are also determined it is by a diversity of other factors (TablesXiy XX). In particular. qualified. The variable. formal. Horizontal to determine within-cemetery group affiliation was observed grave location in only six (27%) out of 22 cases of the cemetery and formal demarcation and two (20%) out of 10 cases. the fewer alternative explanations dead over social organization apply.. T?inter (1978.2%) out of 22 associations of within-cemetery grave location with clear some variable involved vertical that local and within-cemetery social position. 1981) premise. 1981. 4 (18. Goldstein that the converse of this association is not true. many. the affirmation many social and philosophical-re of economically corporate groups and exclusive use of a disposal area. or residence groups. group resources. also emphasized such corporate groups may regularly reaffirm their rights by any of several area." pertains to sodalities.. zontal social position. data suggest thatGoldstein's (1976. This find "hori ing is broader than Goldstein's (1976. 61).182 Carr XX). bounded of the group's specialized disposal a corporate then it is likely that this represents that has rights exists. . p. bounded alternative ritual means here by two data patterns. to burial in a restricted.

can be drawn because territorial marking was rarely observed in this survey. or pregnancy complications cemetery. although more weakly. areas that to the cir the regional location of disposal is the deceased's social classification relative of its association (1975. p. including the location of the The frequencies of these two factors relative to all of the deter of cemetery ecozonal location total to 14 (25%) out of 55. followingRenfrew (1976) and Hall (1976). Philosophical-religious beliefs. in her focused. minants location of is not a primary determinant social position of the re of cemeteries. some cause. Social classification at death accounted for five (8. Another relevant response variable.8 *rhis one.Mortuary Practices and Their Determinants 183 Regional Location Determinants of a Cemetery's If horizontal gional portance cosmology.5 (53%) out of 55. However. of Venue's (1975) survey and this . certain dis (see above). cation of cemeteries (variable 18) associated most often with beliefe about including the structure with beliefs about the afterlife (variable 81a). Vehik the disposal area (variable 18) (TableXIV). This pattern was also found. beliefs in general were found to affect it in 49 (53%) out of 92 with any other determining factors (Table V). cosmological ever. 36). Social classification death was found to be the second most common determinant of regional location of the disposal area relative to the settlement (variable 19/22a) and the third most common determinant of regional. ecozonal lo of the cosmos. munity the more diverse societies at among sampled here. borne out universal afterlife. ecozone location of posited of death. in general. the latter two factors is that the regional. and 10 (11%) of 92 ecozonal location with some cause (TableV).9%) of 56 associations of a disposal area's regional location associations relative to the settlement with of a disposal area's regional. and (1981. regional cemetery location relative to the set seldom was explained by specifically beliefs. 17). The shows in this survey. determined cemetery ecozonal location 29. what factors are? Chapman and Randsborg as territorial markers). influence of and other beliefs.5 ob servations (Table V).5 times (Table V). proposed the im cemeteries territoriality (specifically. How tlement. instances No evidence was perhaps because of data Another determinant has been cumstances limitations of described above. found for the premise that a cemetery's regional lo no conclusion cation reflects its function as a territorial marker. led to burial away from the main com eases. p. Table XIV orders (variable 84). proposive sample of societies found that death due to an accident. is the only probably found between the results correspondence because of differences in sampling design.

societies in three or more observed ciations Local Binford Grave Location and Age survey that age (1971. is often This involvement public that in egalitarian societies the immediate family. who through life has rights. To explain this pattern. VII. the same spatial pattern of differential and adult graves was found often. adults tend to be buried within public life-space. are listed. age was the second most commonly of local grave location (variable 12/17). variable independent in which of societies the number the able. the death of an ritual involvement. In egalitarian . and VIII hunter-gatherers. and duties. pp. determined grave commonly life children are frequently buried outside of the public tarian societies under the house in private familial space. complex tribes. In contrast. ^The local grave lo of response number of observations variable. with a given vari 12/17.184 Table Location XXL Most Common of Local Grave Determinants (3 or More Observations)0 Number Determining 81b 84 Beliefs Beliefs about about variable the soul's universal nature orders 7 6 Observations6 of Can in Egalitarian Societies 81a 59 57 54 83 Beliefs about the afterlife Age5 Vertical social position 4 Beliefs Beliefs about about cause of death the soul's 5 3 3 journey 87 51 61/65 Beliefs about third-party souls 3 Location of death 3 Personal here and as band-level horticultural identity_3_ include those classed societies "Egalitarian huntergatherers. considering observed determinant at all levels of complexity societies societies. (Table XTV). Con larger society or require its adult. a child's death does not affect the In contrast. Only those and horticultural plex hunter-gatherers. Binford suggested a child has few identity relationships outside of sequently. Specifically. The number equals from the relevant cell frequencies is found. location of child In this survey. Also. requires wider community the by adults being buried within symbolized life-space. associating cation. accrued social relationships. 21-22) found in his cross-cultural he reported that in egali location. asso tribes. of the community?either space the or beyond the settlement. as summed association com for band-level in Tables VI. hunter-gatherers.

ied either within the settlement on whether clan has a certain cult specialist. resides there. He attributed this situation to the different practices by which versus horizontal are symbolized social positions and their different rank is communicated through wealth symbols and energy ent archaeological visibility. pp.Mortuary Practices and Their Determinants 185 observed determinant of local age was tied as the third most frequently grave location. bring angry ghosts to them. the reasons revealed here for child and adult graves being located in different places. and for the local locations of graves in proposed by Binford. Table general. The causes of local grave location are more di are more frequently and apparently (1971) recognized than social in nature. who is asso of the village. At the same time. . Should the two classes of souls those who died unnatural deaths would argue with the others. most persons are cremated the God of the Gong. in general comprise 57% of all such observations. and the nature of the afterlife. A twin who dies its way back to its compound it is not after birth is buried in a special. are buried elsewhere. philosophical-religious to determine Some insightful examples of beliefs that were observed the Tkllensi. uninhabited place because shortly to yet be human and have a soul. are wider than the social explanation of local grave XXI shows that three of the four most common determinants location in egalitarian societies are beliefs: beliefs about the soul's nature. Beliefs was tied as only the third most common determinant of local contrast. These of local grave location being affected by some prise 33% of all observations In determinant. three factors com universal orders. vengeance ciated with that it can find Archaeological Visibility of Horizontal Social Position Central archae distinc vertical inher O'Shea from his case study of concluded (1981. age grave location and was found in only 9. the person's In depending the settlement on a path so contrast. are not cremated and an abnormal death from intermingling to keep the souls of those who die with the souls of those who die naturally. all who die abnormal deaths. on the living. Among the Bison-horn Maria considered and buried in funeral grounds outside Gong. O'Shea argued that expenditure. 49-50) are more visible in the Plains Indians that rank social distinctions than are horizontal remains of mortuary social ological practices tions. near saja trees. and cause more deaths. take mingle. In contrast. This is done including infants. because youth.2% of all relationships of local grave location with some factor. Following Binford (1971). an infant is buried near but outside verse than Binford for food. an adult is bur local grave location are the following: Among or at the entrance of his/her homestead.

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he suggested that horizontal social quantities are expressed distinctions through channels of "neutral" value. In contrast. Vertical and horizontal social position are distinguished in mortuary remains quantitatively rather than qualitatively.4%) some factor. in only three social position tween body preparation and by horizontal social position in only 6 (5. vertical social position of the deceased. The quantity of grave furniture was rarely determined by vertical social position (Table XDC. most broadly. Also mentioned are the of the body and other rituals that occur prior to burial. including tokens such as clothing. may not leave archaeological and have a O'Shea's (1981) conclusions point in the right direction are borne out only their specifics theoretical basis. Thus.Mortuary Practices and Their Determinants 187 which of the group of mourners reflect the size and composition that have to the deceased. and body posture and orientation. shows the complexity of the rela tionships intowhich O'Shea (1981) had some insight. three kinds of mortuary practices thatO'Shea (1981) listed as symbolizing the horizontal or are close analogs to practices determined (Tables V. social position is less than is vertical social position. Body treatment was determined Body First. convincing on partially by the data studied here. see above).5 cases of a relationship be (2. respectively (Tkble V). and totemic grave furniture. as revealed by three perspectives most them. Clearly. duties of which are organic and poorly preserved. More O'Shea held that vertical social specifically. the is not as drawn by O'Shea. However. Vertical social position discussed. the different visible traits reflect the two dimen frequencies with which archaeologically sions. more specific perspective A third. where vertical and horizontal situation social . were seldom observed to be so associated with horizontal preparation out of 126. However.0%) out of 120 associations between body treatment and some factor. each practice more affected than horizontal social position. vertical tion were found to be determined Second. low-value coiffure. is symbolized by elaborate and the kinds and grave construction position of grave furniture. vertical social position variables. XVI). which preparation traces. frequently visible archaeologically not the different arrays of practices this difference reflects that are deter versus horizontal mined by vertical social position but. of nearly equal numbers: At the same time. with some archaeologically visible mortuary form in 144 in associated stances whereas horizontal in only 67 in social position was so associated true that horizontal it appears stances. or that that he lists. instead. TableXXII lists the absolute and relative frequencies with which horizontal and vertical social associated in this survey with each of several mortuary position practices or close analogs that O'Shea to them. social position and horizontal social posi identical sets of mortuary prac by nearly 22 versus 21 archaeologically visible tices.

the wide array of factors that affect mortuary but tices and remains. vertical social position. the development Since largely on social have within been so directed. relations. through a cross-cultural prac survey. of death. physical also philosophical-religious constraints. the American that crystallized implicitly and explicitly is the primary is that social organization approach in mortuary within of variation societies. . and ecological circumstances and sobering finding of this survey is that most The most fundamental of mortuary by a complex mix of fac categories practices are determined and secondarily tors. These are social and philosophical-religious. horizontal less social position appears in mortuary visible than vertical social position Both remains. theory building.188 Carr sets of practices. a path followed here. ently responsible and other disciplines. following O'Shea's predicted pattern. American mortuary archaeology as the cause of mortuary and as practices organization cross the object of cultural reconstruction. frequently affect a similar range of mortuary of social organization dimensions prac tices. relative to horizontal social position. Yet. Middle-range and applications of analytical methods. beliefs and world views. This paper documents. cultural surveys. and some subtle translations of it by other archaeologists for the focus and direction of contemporary studies. the selection of relevant As a consequence. These factors include not only social organization. ties as well as cross-culturally. and (variable 9) and energy expenditure Not least effect on body treatment (variable 2) and body position (variable 3b). practices A view the late determinant proximate of death. CONCLUSIONS has focused 1960s. somewhat follow O'Shea's Specifically. and body orientation (variable 4b) was never to be determined either vertical or horizontal observed social position. body preparation (variable 1) was vertical relative to horizontal affected social position social position by more often than expected. by to be archaeologically In sum. the relative de position affect largely different to which vertical and horizontal social position affect each practice grees conclusions. (1971) early some ambiguities within his of mortuary in the development archaeology. had its greatest effect on elaboration of grave construction (variable 16). primarily was found within single socie This complexity physical and circumstantial. However. Material-ecological with modifications paradig by circumstances certain lines of argument made by Binford matic assumptions. there is precedence for in anthropology historically a broader approach. but to varying degrees. are appar essay.

Some of the more important patterns are the following: (1) Mortuary practices and remains. rather than a paradigmatic approach. although often expressed in directly. they are chosen in relation to personal themes. directly and independently practices factors. chological archetypes. physical. This relationship derives not only from the non are associated within any par inwhich form and meaning arbitrary manner ticular cultural context (Hodder. beliefs and world views them views. This pattern quently. 9). The latter two factors were observed with similar frequency. The pattern is entirely expectable when one considers that many cultural practices. as symbolic behaviors and forms. tuary practices. p. the contents as well as the structure of mortuary tential for reconstructing the past. that limit the way by which cultures and world views can be requirements and the structuring forces of psy organized while remaining operational. Consequently. are tors. formation was only occasionally available. are mean ingfullyconstituted (Hodder 1982b). only The cross-cultural survey presented some of which support the premises of American mortuary archaeology. trasocietal variation if not more fre in mortuary practices than social organizational factors across cultures. and several times more commonly than ecological on which in determinants. attitudes. any One reason for this complex. 1982b. or archaeological other one aspect of a culture can be difficult. selves can affect mortuary of social. that social organization is the primary determinant of mortuary practices. multivariate causality is that social or as well as physical and circumstantial and social personae. including many mortuary practices. and circumstantial here revealed many patterns. factors were documented to determine in (2) Philosophical-religious as frequently. . contradicts one view of mainstream American mortuary archaeology of the late 1960s through 1980s. At the intentions.Mortuary Practices and Their Determinants 189 variables for reconstructing social organization. Social and philosophical-religious factors were found to influence mor and physical tuary practices five to ten times more often than circumstantial factors. social strategies. An holistic and balanced view of the causes of mor is required. beliefs. In addition. and world-view same time. social organizational factors clearly remain major determinants of intrasocietal variation inmortuary practices. rather. and social may biological. but also apparently from and constraints. are related cross-culturally in a semideterminant rather than arbitrary way to their referent meanings. beliefs. through beliefs. Some of these broader-scale factors larger-scale processes include natural symbolic associations. filtered of philosophical-religious beliefs. in distinction from Binford's (1971) remains hold po view. world through the framework and their symbolic codes. fac ganization are often not expressed directly in mortuary practices but. material.

be of the deceased's bilities to and punishments liefs about universal orders. the number of persons per grave. than gender. personal identity. Variables them more in that they reflect beliefs. soul. and universal orders and oppo never associated with horizontal social position. including beliefs about the afterlife. p. circumstan (6) The balance with which social. Body orientation to in contrast or sodality origin myths. the afterlife. frequently factors that were found most often to (4) The philosophical-religious determine mortuary practices and remains include beliefe about the soul. with beliefs given their fundamental and shamanic arts. the number of so the overall energy expended the cemetery. including healing and in the meditative cross-culturally of burial ori association work. The strongest association body (31 of 32 cases) found was between and philosophical-religious orientation factors. the nature of the soul's journey to the afterlife. vertical and horizontal mortuary practices several times more and age determined mortuary social position practices and the circumstances of death. factors. structing philosophical-religious include body orientation. that appear most useful for reconstructing (5) Some mortuary variables more often by social than in that they are determined social organization. ver and the circumstantial social position. at death?were reflected in of the deceased social classification commonly and remains.190 Carr zation of social personae and social organi (3) Each of the major dimensions that archaeologists routinely attempt to reconstruct?age. sitions. other on disposal. or specifically affiliation sodality and orientation Binford's (1971) findings. body position. Social factors through complex predominated hunter-gather in societies with . from band-level hunter-gatherers ers to horticultural tribes. and the specific cross-cultural psychopomp entation with beliefs about the direction of an afterlife. of include the internal organization kinds of factors cross-culturally. personal tical and horizontal identity. Among these factors.This finding lends support toHoddens (1982a. Of these factors. focus on structural burial types. were found to determine mortuary practices varies tial. the cause of illness and death of the deceased. The frequent ment of furniture cially roles is expectable. were the most frequent determinants. universal orders and and responsi their symbols. and physical factors and in a systematic and understandable way with sociopolitical complexity were observed more fre factors cultural evolution. and the spatial arrange commonly. 215) and to oppositions when interpreting mortuary practices structural oppositions the feasibility of reconstructing archaeologically. including structural oppositions. Philosophical-religious relative to social organizational differential but with a declining quently. and the recognized that appear most useful for recon quantity of grave furniture. the soul's journey to the afterlife. gender. philosophical-religious. association of body position in the grave.

and material contributions grave location and the kind of furniture placed often reflected vertical social position. cumstantial society found to be less influential in ones. that the soul can be manipulated by the way in which the corpse is handled. complexity. Cir in comparison to social and philo and physical determinants. greater role specialization. and horizontal sonal identity was found to decline systematically social po as causes of in frequency sition was found to increase systematically in consistently low frequencies Gender was observed mortuary practices. mount chiefdoms. grave construction. (9) The vertical social position of the deceased was found to be re flected most often in the overall amount of energy expended on disposing the body.Mortuary Practices and Their Determinants 191 found more reflect influential of in para increasing size. (10) Local grave location and formal demarcation most frequently social position indicated the horizontal his/her lineal descent group. as Binford (1971) the quantity of grave furniture did not. Burial programs can be used to infer more than the social prestige of individuals and the complexity of past societies. generally. petty hierarchies. mobile societies than a social persona that constitute and (7) The balance of dimensions are reflected in mortuary practices varies in a predictable manner with that increasing per sociopolitical sociopolitical complexity. With complexity. accord with Saxe's (1970) and Goldstein's (1976. to the funeral. the by and symbolize that have rights over . Moreover. 1978) showed. 1981) premise and findings that formal. funeral duration. mortuary practices need not be simply a language for symbolizing often believe and social organization. increasing complexity of the social of beliefs in ancestor and institutionalizing persona. the support found for Hertz's premise sug that physical remains and patterns related to the hand?ng of the gests a the diverse types and locations of burials comprising corpse?especially "burial program"?have for reconstructing past world views good potential and beliefs archaeologically. In this way. but beliefs These were again trends probably the effects (8) Solid supportwas found for Hertz's (1907) premise thatmourners that the state of the corpse is a model of the state of the soul. also but of the cemetery of the deceased. and the development all of which correlate with increasing sociopolitical worship. These associations including bounded disposal areas for the dead are maintained of social groups (especially corporateness lineages) Local in the grave documented. were unexpectedly sophical-religious most sedentary societies. as T?inter (1975. while vertical social position and/or age (an essential determinant of vertical as determinants social position) were found in consistently high frequencies in societies of all degrees of sociopolitical complexity. including body treatment. some mortuary practices are determined directly by beliefs and express these independently of social or philosophical-religious ganization.

each practice considered here and by O'Shea. (1971). and others who . However. and other philosophical by cosmology.192 the use Carr and/or control of crucial. relation to his/her circumstances social position of the deceased appears to be ar (12) The horizontal This pattern adult versus as to various than his/her vertical social position. Beyond revealing past social organizations. visible less frequently as chaeologically this circumstance O'Shea does not de (1981. 3-4). Finally. like middle-range in They theory. different rive. were seldom or never found thought to be so determined in this survey. Moreover. universal orders. vertical social position af fected the practice more often than did horizontal social position. to the future. to help the archaeologist more than originally envisioned though by Binford complex. to guide the archaeologist traits that are relevant for studying specific categories selecting mortuary or other factors. as proposed by Chapman (1981). as he thought. Saxe The stronger tices and various mortuary helped to launch American archaeology. which social distinctions. but to varying degrees. in turn. as reported by Binford (1971). from the two social dimensions determining that. horizontal he to reflect vertical social distinctions. pp. mined lineal descent group affiliation One factor beyond that often deter local grave location is age. beyond the community or in or near the family dwelling. Whereas adults are often buried within the public life-space. com (11) A cemetery's regional location was found to be determined beliefs about the afterlife. the latter being some what more common. children are often bur ied outside of it. arrays of practices both social dimensions were found here to affect very similar and Rather. which O'Shea body preparation posited and quantity of grave furniture. 1984) generalized. (Murdock and White can be used. broad ranges of mortuary for practices. can be attributed to the relative degree of involvement of the the child in social life. func within societies tional relationships 1980. monly and Randsborg religious beliefs. as Binford as well (1971) recognized. differ in the visibility of their remains. to indicate and body treatment. of social. local grave location and formal demarcation of the cemetery were also de termined by many other social factors and beliefe. kinds of beliefs that he did not: beliefs about the soul's nature. and the nature of the afterlife. philosophical-religious. associations between mortuary of the cross-cultural prac factors reported here can be taken to reflect valid. restricted resources. Ajiother often noted was the social classification determinant of the deceased in of death. the potential of mortuary practices and remains Looking reconstruct past cultures still appears great?greater. At the same time. reconstructing past philosophical is clearly a fruitful area into which the study of mortuary religious beliefs (1970).

g. Two examples of the finer-grained work that with is re "ter the same quired are Rose's (1922) and Mattock's (1990) studies of the association of beliefe in reincarnation versus an eternal afterlife. sound research on past beliefe requires that certain be made and certain approaches be taken. (1907) theory might to about how particular "fates" of the soul tend crossculturally hypotheses be symbolized of the body. Tbelken. 1995. it is through synchronie and historical patterns of association and contrast among mortuary and other practices that cultural bundles of are revealed ? what have been termed the meaning "logical fabric" of a culture (Rosenthal. universal orders) are too broad to be used to reconstruct the themes of a world view or At more specific beliefs. First.. inde beliefs can determine mortuary practices Third. 46. there is good sup in philosophical-religious for Hertz's (1907) useful middle-range theory." Second. nature of the soul. respectively. it is the place of a mortuary practice within such synchronie of the practice into con the prac reasons. philosophical-religious some middle-range statistical generaliza pendently of social factors. Finally. finer-grained preparations cross-cultural studies are needed of specific forms of beliefs and their cor relates in mortuary practices. nature of the journey to an afterlife. 1982a. "configurations" (Kroeber. philosophical-religious. statistical regularities in the meaning(s) of tice can be helpful but need not be sufficient. Taylor 1948). the middle-range to move beyond it is necessary Second. Turner bolic meaning(s). which considers the syn chronie with and historical patterns of association and contrast other mortuary practices and broader circumstances. First. such beliefe determine tices at least as frequently mortuary practices with no more multivariate complexity than social factors. 'Ming sideration cross-cultural. with ethnographic in through patterned some more specific be used to formulate Hertz's sights. philosophical-religious beliefs determine mortuary prac good as social factors. of symbols their "positional mean (1967. Fourth. 1963).Mortuary Practices and Their Determinants 193 can be expanded. Second. tions. and is already developing. For example. of statistical here to true. middle-range the kind presented generalizations theory. be they social. 1979). restrial" versus "celestial" orientations of the body and head. when interpreting the cultural meaning(s) as a symbol. pp. it is essential to use a broad contextual approach (Emerson. causes which links burial forms to their possible philosophical-religious etic and emic logic. Hodder. that the fate of the body port is often used as a metaphor for the fate of the soul. 1989. and his torical patterns that the practice may take on and be constrained in its sym or other. time. as reported here. are now available for interpreting mortuary practices as well as social terms. . The categories of beliefs examined here (e. There are at least five practices reasons. This is so for three First. 1982b. in specific forms of manipulation of a mortuary practice Third. 50-51) labeled such meanings ings. p.

47).. McGuire.Goodenough. such bundles of meaning(s) society's are world view when the meanings in nature. of transpersonal and the age-focused aspects are all relevant. and their cultural and biopsychological themes. 1982a. 1981. Huntington or qualitative approaches. and data (e. 163-170. 1979. and "themes" (Emerson.194 Can 1989. and other factors. mythology. Hodder. and depth psychology. p. by a complex mix of social. and contents of world views. archaeologists are bundles of beliefs that associate as part of basic world-view assumptions or broader cultural themes.1984. 93-118.9 because a mortuary practice often is determined Finally. 1985). the framework It is only within of general organization. and Metcalf. and so economy. 1992. 1934)... pp. related quantitative 1995) might be modeled and revealed through in which dimensions of the socialpersona have been somodeled (Braun. Impor "patterns" (Benedict. Roe. remains. in mortuary or the graduate and honors that I taught at Arizona students of four State University seminars for their structural practices. the symbolic and im ing. A fourth requirement for sound research on past beliefs is careful se lection of the grain of the ideas sought. It is not expectable that very fine beliefs can often be validly reconstructed from mortuary grained symbolism. familiar just as in previous decades archaeologists with the nature of human subsistence. of consciousness anthropology ized themselves ciopolitical in conjunction with approach of that practice can facilitate ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I foremost thank on mortuary practices ^orld-view expressed themes. factor-analytic and triadic dualities that are dimensionally oppositions. causes and constraints. thanatology. language and culture. More likely within the reach of mortuary McGregor. Penney.g. sound research on beliefs of the past will require that archae the systematic become much more familiar with ologists organization. Tables 1.2) and revealed (O'Shea. the fields of structural anthropology. the psychology of death and dying. to ethnographic unless a direct-historical approach analogy is feasible (e. 1965. Finally. for reconstructing them from mortuary theory practices In this vein. the anthropology of shamanism and heal comparative religion. world-view themes (e. can comprise basic tenets of a tantly. 1983.g.g. pp. models of belief systems that middle-range anthropological archaeological can be developed. Ravesloot. 1941). analogous to the manner 1979. using a contextual cross-cultural in the meaning(s) regularities the teasing out of those meaning(s). Mul philosophical-religious or covariation tivariate patterns of cooccurrence in mortuary remains can thus represent the organization of a society's beliefs into broader. philosophical-religious. 1988) .

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