Prien, Roland: Shifting Burial Rites – Shifting Identities? Late Antique Burial Practices on the Rhine Frontier, in Ardeleanu, Stefan und Cubas Díaz, Jon C. (Hrsg.): Funerary Landscapes of the Late Antique “oecumene”: Contextualizing Epigraphic and Archeological Evidence of Mortuary Practices. Proceedings of an International Conference in Heidelberg, May 30–June 1, 2019, Heidelberg: Heidelberg University Publishing, 2023 (Kulturelles Erbe: Materialität – Text – Edition (KEMTE), Band 3), S. 459–481. https://doi.org/10.17885/heiup.1176.c16244

Identifier (Buch)

ISBN 978-3-96822-211-0 (PDF)
ISBN 978-3-96822-210-3 (Hardcover)




Roland Prien

Shifting Burial Rites – Shifting Identities? Late Antique Burial Practices on the Rhine Frontier

Abstract Numerous Late Antique burials are known from the urban and rural sites along the Rhine border and throughout its hinterland. The Palatinate offers an espe­cially vast range of archaeological material. Until now, however, this extensive ma­terial has mostly been the subject of chronological studies or has, on rare occasions, been discussed with regards to the ethnic identity of those buried. The actual burial rites and grave contents, as well as further aspects of the cult of the dead, have most often not been considered. The extensive material sources certainly allow for deep insights into Late Antique burial practices in a border region of the Roman Empire, which was exposed to various cultural influences and whose emerging ‘border so­ciety’ became a model for the burial customs of the early Middle Ages. This paper gives a brief overview of selected burial grounds from towns and villae along the Upper and Lower Rhine. Due to the absence of structures above ground, it focuses on the grave goods and their possible functions within burial rites.

Keywords Burial Rites, Late Antiquity, Germania, Ethnic Identities, Christianisation