The third supplementary volume of the series “Qa?na Studien” contains the contributions from the workshop “Symbols of the Dead”, held at the 7th ICAANE in London on 14th and 15th April 2010, and the symposium “Grave Inventories and their (Inter)regional Context. An Interdisciplinary Approach”, which was held in Tübingen between 25th and 27th November 2010. Both conferences were organized by the post-graduate school “Symbols of the Dead”.
This volume comprises theoretical discussions and archaeological case studies, as well as archaeometric analytical studies so as to identify the composition and provenance of objects, inter alia from grave contexts. The contributions cover a geographical field spanning Syria, Mesopotamia, the Syro-Anatolian regions, Jordan, Egypt, and the Aegean, and they chronologically span from the 4th to the 1st millennia B.C. They either compare different regions in one single period, or one region over several periods. Thus, the volume offers insights into different approaches to interpreting mortuary practices, the symbolism of grave goods, and the interaction of the living with the dead. The papers are divided into three sections – “The Dead, The Ancestors and the Living”; “Mortuary Rituals”; “Grave Goods, Food and Offerings” – each referring to a prominent aspect of the symbolism of the dead in the Ancient Near East. At the same time, these sections represent major fields of research within mortuary studies in recent years.