It was a pleasure to have for the first time part of the Deepdead team together at our Exeter meeting during the summer. We had brilliant presentations by Naomi, Philip, Estella, Andrew, Jan-Peer, Ladislav and Jan. The idea behind these was to introduce our research, work and interests related to the project strands, and it was very interesting to hear perspectives on ‘agency’, ‘memory, ‘material culture’ and ‘death’ among other concepts from the literary and archaeological perspectives and the way we explore them in different fields.
As well as introductory talks, we took the opportunity to learn more about each other and outline the general plan of research. We also broke down into smaller groups to talk about possible collaborations between the different teams. Our aim is to create a series of case studies that span over distinct eras, cultures and types of evidence, looking to reveal what is constant and what is logical and historically specific in our ways of interacting with the long-dead. Part of that research includes the relationship between long-dead bodies and myths of national origin and the ways they have been, or are still used to reinforce or challenge historical narratives.
The different teams will focus on particular periods and topics according to our areas of expertise covering three main research areas:
- Reuse of the prehistoric dead and their monuments
- Encounters with the dead and their artefacts in medieval and early modern Europe
- Uses and agency of the dead in modern and contemporary society
After the meeting we have no doubt that exciting times are awaiting, and we will keep you updated on our progress!