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Death into Life: Population Statistics from Cemetery Data

Author:

Keith J. Matthews

Abstract

If archaeology ought to be about digging up people, as Wheeler (1956, 13) believed, the profession has largely failed to do so. It has concentrated on the material culture of humanity, and even when dealing with cemeteries, it has generally been the grave goods and the pathology of the human remains which have attracted more attention than the dead as people. This paper presents a technique for ordering data from cemeteries in a way that allows reconstructions of ancient demographic trends to be made. Use is also made of life-table modelling to examine age structures and suggest major differences in the demography of individual cemeteries. It uses data from as yet unpublished excavations at the Romano-British “small town” of Baldock, Hertfordshire.

How to Cite: Matthews, K.J., (1999). Death into Life: Population Statistics from Cemetery Data. Theoretical Roman Archaeology Journal. (1993), pp.141–161. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/TRAC1993_141_161
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Published on 16 Apr 1999.
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