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Burial in the Roman world

Richard Reece (Editor)

CBA Research Report No 22 (1977)

ISBN 0 900312 47 5


Title page of report 22

Papers given at a seminar in London at Easter 1974 which 'aimed to cover the methods and main areas of burial (regional, chronological, and special) and, more important, the methods being used to study the material'. John Collis (1-13) provides a context by surveying pre-Roman burial rites in NW Europe; these were quite varied apart from an area of cremation burials extending from central Rhine to E England. A variety of rites is also seen in Italy, in Glenys Davies' summary (13-19) although she identifies certain trends up to the time of Augustus. The use of a quantitative approach is urged by Rick Jones (20-5) since attributes from large numbers of graves cannot be handled otherwise. The specific case of Owslebury is treated by Collis (26-34); here seventy burials have been excavated at the fringes of and scattered through a small rural settlement of EIA-RB date. The realm of theory and belief as expressed in RB pagan burials is discussed by Jock Macdonald (35-8). Malcolm Todd (39-43) provides a brief survey of burials among the Free Germans 100 BC-AD 300, and notes the type and level of Roman influence. R Reece (44-5) has studied two Latin texts throwing light on burial customs. The significance of 'plaster' burials for the recognition of Christian cemeteries is C J S Green's subject (46-53), while Philip Rahtz discusses the problems of Late Roman cemeteries in Britain into 5th century and beyond, with particular reference to Cannington.


  • Title pages
  • Introduction by Richard Reece (p v)
  • Pre-Roman burial rites in north-western Europe by John Collis (p 1)
  • Burial in Italy up to Augustus by Glenys Davies (p 13)
  • A quantitative approach to Roman burial by Rick Jones (p 20)
  • Owslebury (Hants) and the problem of burials on rural settlements by John Collis (p 26)
  • Pagan religions and burial practices in Roman Britain by Jock Macdonald (p 35)
  • Germanic burials in the Roman Iron Age by Malcolm Todd (p 39)
  • Burial in Latin literature: two examples by Richard Reece (p 44)
  • The significance of plaster burials for the recognition of Christian cemeteries by Christopher Green (p 46)
  • Late Roman cemeteries and beyond by Philip Rahtz (p 53)
  • Index (p 65)

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