Residential Burial in Global Perspective



While the study and interpretation of mortuary practices have long been important parts of archaeological analyses, rarely has residential burial – the practice of burying the deceased in and around houses – been a specific focus of investigation. Here, we examine some of the global contexts in which residential burial has occurred and discuss the different ways that archaeologists have interpreted residential burial. Though practices vary in time, place, and context, the presence of burials in residential settings compels archaeologists to carefully consider the relationship between the living and the dead and to explore the importance of social memory, social reproduction, relations of power, mortuary ritual, and social landscapes.