Auch dieses Jahr beteiligt sich unser Projekt am Annual Meeting der European Association of Archaeologists (EAA), welches vom 26.–30. August 2020 virtuell stattfindet. Gern wären wir nach Budapest gefahren, doch nutzen wir nun die digitalen Formate.
Dabei beteiligen wir uns nicht nur an der Session #s436 (Now you can’t see me! Searching for resilience as an archaeologically observable phenomenon) mit mehreren Vorträgen, sondern organisieren auch selbst eine eigene Session #s260 (Coping with death at all ages: (Post-)Funerary practices, mourning and resilience). Da die Teilnahme an der Tagung an eine Mitgliedschaft der EAA geknüpft ist, geben wir hier einen Einblick in unsere Vorträge:
Kerstin P. Hofmann – Living with death. Archaeology of death and resilience research: Brothers in arms?
Living with death is one of the central challenges faced by human beings. How they successfully cope with death and deal with the remains of the deceased are questions that have been of increasing interest in recent years. The ars moriendi appears to have phases of greater intensity, especially in times of uncertainty, for example with the appearance of new concepts of the person. But media and possibilities also play a role. If we regard the scholarly debate about death and mourning as a form of the ars moriendi, then what contribution can be made by looking at the materialised past, and by the archaeological analysis of burial grounds and of how bodies and final remains are dealt with? Can the archaeology of death and resilience research be brothers in arms when looking into the question of the good way of dealing with death? To what extent must we, in order to do this, further develop the questions, concepts and methods of the archaeology of death into those of a thanatoarchaeology? What part can be played by a historicisation of the perception of death? What do we learn about our narratives of death when we work together with psychologist and sociologists in interdisciplinary projects? How can archaeological sources be used to analyse concepts as abstract as cognitive flexibility, self-effectacy, and social support? And do the former perhaps provide evidence of other factors or practices that lead to resilience? During the course of this paper, these questions will be the subject of systematic discussion, and possible perspectives from an interdisciplinary cooperation in the investigation of death and mourning identified.
Nataliia Chub – Resilience in the face of death. How can we know they could cope with bereavement?
ooner or later every person is confronted with death – that of a beloved one or their own. Although we cannot comprehend how a person experiences their own death, we can understand that the death of a loved one is a crisis that has to be coped with to ensure a continued ability to live and function normally. From a psychological perspective, the ability of individuals, groups of individuals or other entities to be resistant against various types of stressors and continue a successful functioning during and after the crisis, is called resilience. Different factors, so-called resilience factors, can contribute to the resilience of an entity. But how can we as archaeologists be aware of whether prehistoric societies have developed a resilient dealing with death? Graves, as one of the main archaeological sources, evidence the confrontation of the burial community with death and loss. It can be assumed that one of the functions of burial practices, besides the removal of the body, is to support coping with death and loss through certain actions and routines. Yet can we conclude that funeral practices are linked to the resilience factors which are relevant for coping with death as a stressor? In this case, resilience factors could be deduced from archaeological record. The approaches, methodology and problems of archaeological resilience research on the basis of funerary monuments will be demonstrated using Final Neolithic to Middle Bronze Age necropolises from the Lech Valley as a case study.
Paul Pasieka – Re-using old graves as a strategy of resilience? Some considerations from an Etruscan perspective
The practice of transferring older burials to new family graves, especially (the burials) of the parent generation of the grave founders, has been known for a long time in Etruscan funerary archaeology, although it has not yet been treated systematically. However, another practice has remained largely unnoticed, namely the re-use of older tombs: Tombs that have not been used for several generations, are re-visited and used anew for funerals. However, this re-use of graves is very rare in Etruria (central Italy). It occurred both in a limited time span (during the 4th and 3rd century BC and in the 1st centuries BC / AD), and in a limited spatial area (in the regions Cortona, Perugia, Volterra, Tuscania, Cerveteri). Furthermore, this practice is most commonly often, but not exclusively, related to outstanding, individual tombs. In my paper, I’d like to present a first summary of this practice of re-use of older tombs in Etruria, and associated practices known from the archaeological record. I will then place it in the wider context of memory, memorial cultures, and ways of coping with loss and death in Hellenistic and Imperial Etruria. A number of questions and aspects shall be given particular consideration, e.g.: How were the older burials dealt with? What roles did grave care and the memory of the deceased play, and why does the practice of reuse appear only at specific periods? Could the association with older graves, and thus with the past, have contributed to strengthen both individual and collective resilience, for instance in the face of loss but also of social change in general? Another central question is the relationship between newly buried and the old grave-owners, and in particular whether they belonged to the same family or kinship group.
Detlef Gronenborn – Social cohesion cycles in temperate European Neolithic and modern societies
Fluctuations in social cohesion as an active internal forcing are investigated both for early farming as well as modern societies in Temperate Europe. We postulate that these internal processes have – at least from the onset of farming onwards – constituted a considerable if not decisive forcing agent in long-term trajectories. We try to discuss the concepts of social cohesion and its applicability in archaeology. We discuss further what material and immaterial remains may serve as quantifiable indicators focussing specifically on ceramic decoration for early farming societies. Relating to the theoretical discussion we search for and apply proxy data from Modernity which might have a similar explanatory value. As will be shown, both early farming as well as modern industrial and post-industrial societies underwent cyclical fluctuations in social cohesion which are possibly decoupled from any other parameters. Therefore, social cohesion cycles might constitute an independent forcing agent in historic processes, at least as from the onset of farming onwards.
Detlef Gronenborn – How resilient is resilience? Critical remarks on the sustainability of a concept
Resilience as a concept has its roots in military psychology, from there moving to the social sciences, later to the environmental sciences and, since about 2005, has made its way into archaeological thought. Since then, and in concurrence with an ever disintegrative (western) world, it has undergone a hype phase, starting about 5 years ago. The concept of resilience is investigated in archaeological approaches, particularly in studies on early farming societies. But it is also briefly investigated in modern-day contexts, within the globally changing world. Its validity is discussed for both periods and its explanatory value investigated, particularly in relation to the ethical implications of the resilience concept. In the course of reflections on the validity of the concept and its viability for the nearer future alternatives or rather more concrete aspects are discussed, particularly one aspect which might prove rewarding for further studies, namely social cohesion and its cyclical behaviour.
Stefan Schreiber, Alexandra W. Busch – Mission (im)possible? – Operationalizing (socio-)psychological resilience factors in archaeological research
The common archaeological meanings of resilience as a capacity of socio-ecological systems tempts us to consider them only on the level of societies and their environment. If the scale is extended, human individuals and groups can also be understood as socio-ecological entities. This makes it possible to integrate psychological and social psychological insights into archaeological resilience research. Based on the research in our project “Resilience factors in diachronic and intercultural perspectives”, we would therefore like to present an approach that deals with those factors that make human individuals and groups resilient. We would like to understand resilience factors as socio-cultural resources that are strongly correlated with resilience. Our presentation aims to propose an operationalization of psychologically-proven resilience factors for archaeological research. At the same time, new resilience factors will be proposed, which have not yet been discussed in the context of resilience for human individuals and groups. These should help us to 1) investigate the respective characteristics of the resilience factors through different times and spaces comparatively, 2) identify possible weak and strong couplings of effective stressors and applied resilience factors, 3) analyse possible long-term developments of resilience factors.