Local, regional and ethnic identities in early medieval cemeteries in Bavaria (Premio Ottone d’Assia e Riccardo Francovich 2008)


Author: Suzanne Hakenbeck
Year of printing: 2011
ISBN: 9788878144323


The main theme of the work is the study of early medieval ethnicity conducted through the analysis of a group of cemeteries in the alluvial plain of Munich and the examination of the development of funerary practice in a period ranging from the fifth to the seventh century AD. as a hybrid act of late Roman and barbaric practices, when in the following century, tribal political communities consolidated, the burial modalities distanced themselves from their Roman origins and became openly barbaric. The study of the burials becomes for the A. reason for a broader reflection on the concept of identity and on the relationship between material culture and ethnicity.

Contains the summary of the volume in Italian

Ottone d'Assia and Riccardo Francovich Award 2008




1. Early medieval ethnicity materialises
1.1. The creation of a myth
1.2. Culture and Volk
1.3. Tracht and the missing adjectives
1.4. The parallel universe
1.5. Excursion to Africa: anthropological approaches
1.6. Wenskus’s Stammesbildung
1.7. Debating ethnicity in history…
1.8. … and archaeology
1.9. Archaeology, anthropology, history: the state of the union
1.10. Early medieval ethnicity materialises

2. Early medieval cemeteries in Bavaria
2.1. The choice of cemeteries
2.2. The interpretive process

3. Developing a chronology
3.1. Background
3.2. Theory
3.3. Method
3.4. A history of early medieval chronologies in northern France and Germany
3.5. Developing a chronology for the cemeteries on the Munich gravel plain
3.6. Discussion of the phases
3.7. The chronological sequence

4. Barbarian identities in transition
4.1. The legacy of the empire
4.2. Competing polities
4.3. Conflict and consolidation
4.4. The return of empire
4.5. The impact of Christianity
4.6. Barbarian identities in transition

5. Local and regional identities
5.1. Ethnic identities in the cemeteries on the Munich gravel plain
5.2. The female assemblage
5.3. The male assemblage
5.4. Ethnic identities and gender

6. Kin-groups and ancestors, families and warriors: the spatial organisation of cemeteries
6.1. Altenerding: burying among the ancestors
6.2. Aubing: family plots on the move
6.3. Steinhöring: a place in the country
6.4. Pliening: warriors and robbers
6.5. Giesing: the attraction of all things Roman
6.6. Conclusion

7. Conclusions
7.1. Roman or barbarian?
7.2. Differences between cemeteries
7.3. Families and ancestors
7.4. Male and female identities
7.5. Individuals
7.6. Early medieval ethnicity and material culture
7.7. A question of origins?

Appendix A: Artefact codes and their descriptions
Appendix B: Dated graves
Appendix C: Dated artefacts



Additional information

Weight :0,713 kg
Dimensions:29x21x1,2 cm

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illustrations in black and white






English, summarized in Italian


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