Rituals of Death: From Prehistoric Times to Now

We rated this book:


In Rituals of Death, Stan Beckensall offers a glimpse into the past by sharing archaeological evidence of burial sites and rites. The richly illustrated volume includes photographs of ancient graves across the English countryside from the Neolithic to the Christian and modern eras. While focusing on graveyards in the United Kingdom, Beckensall’s approach emphasizes their archaeological significance, discussing the symbols, artifacts, and other materials that accompanied the departed. Because he has been part of excavations, he shared his first-hand experiences in finding and interpreting human activity in constructing the sites. He alludes to stories about ceremonies in certain sacred places; however, the book focuses mostly on what can be readily seen and observed in the mounds, monuments, graves, and mausoleums. Some of the locations described by Beckensall are part of active archaeological digs.

I was interested in this book because of my lifelong fascination with burial rituals across cultures. How communities mourn their dead reflects what they value in the realm of the living, as well as spiritual beliefs about the afterlife. While the book lacks detail about the everyday lives of ancient peoples in Britain, it is a useful tool for lay archaeologists eager to explore and find the sites available to the public.

Reviewed By:

Author Stan Beckensall
Star Count 3/5
Format Hard
Page Count 224 pages
Publisher 31-Mar-2023
Publish Date Pen and Sword History
ISBN 9781399098373
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue January 2024
Category History