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Posted by: CelticRadio 17-May-2017, 07:40 PM
Medieval Graves


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According to archaeologists, a reopened grave usually indicates grave robbery. Martine van Haperen, however, draws a different conclusion. Mediaeval people presumably reopened graves to strengthen the ties with their family ancestors: they would take objects with a strong symbolic significance. Van Haperen even acted as a detective and reconstructed the contents of such a robbed grave. She will defend her doctoral thesis on Tuesday 16 May at Leiden University. Her research was funded from the NWO programme PhDs in the Humanities.


In the early Middle Ages (450 - 800 AD), dead people were often buried with valuable items such as jewellery, weapons and earthenware pots. Martine van Haperen discovered that the people who reopened the graves certainly did not take everything. They mainly took the objects with an important symbolic significance, such as swords and shields from the male graves and jewellery from female graves. These were possibly viewed as the carriers of mythical and ancestral powers...

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-05-medieval-people-reopened-graves-honour.html#jCp

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