Life Styles, Death Styles, and Posthumous Portraiture: Elite Female Burials in Iron Age Europe


This dissertation analyzes the grave good assemblages in 222 burial contexts from HallstattD (c. 600-400 BCE) tumulus cemeteries in west-central Europe to test the hypothesis that certain combinations of grave goods were associated with particular categories of persons based on an intersectional marking of gender, status, age and social role. The primary data set consists of high-status graves – male, female, ungendered/pre-gendered subadults, and those of indeterminate gender – in the Heuneburg interaction sphere in southwest Germany. The results of this analysis are compared to a secondary data set of comparable burials from other west-central European locations, to determine whether discernible patterns are due to regional traditions or may reflect deeper conceptions of gender ideology. The posthumous portraiture provided by these mortuary contexts is discussed in relation to identity and role, including gender, age, kin relations, and childbearing status. The distinction between lifestyles and deathstyles in identity marking and the relevance of these costume elements for accessing gender ideology in this preliterate society are presented using a visual body mapping approach that reveals the complexity of archaeologically accessing intersectional identities in the past

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