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A coin for the dead, coins for the living. Charon’s obol: the end of a myth? - 23-24/11/2017, Athens


Thanks to new methods of investigation, the field of funerary archaeology has developed in the last years. Fine excavation, precise archiving of contextual data and the many pluri-disciplinary studies have led to the establishment of an “archaeology of ritual”. Far from the simple gathering of material that excavating burials was confined to, this discipline now takes into account two essential things: biological anthropology and the study of taphonomic phenomena. The objects that were deposited in the tombs are then considered as part of the context in which the deceased is placed: in other words they can inform us on the funerary gestures.

Although the study of rites and gestures seems like an innovating field in archaeology, the taking into account of the data from the analysis of coins from funerary contexts has not yet followed this trend, despite the fact that this theme is undoubtedly at the heart of the renewal of funerary archaeology. The gesture of depositing one or more coins is indeed part of complex and various ritual sequences whose aim is the constitution of a tomb. Since the conferences held at Salerna (“Caronte. Un obolo per l’Aldila”, 20-22 Februrary 1995) and at Neuchatel (“Trouvailles monétaires de tombes”, 3-4 March 1995), which were thought of as pioneers on this matter, no new summary has been attempted on this practice nor on the integration of numismatic data within the funerary archaeology speech itself.

FECHA/DATE/DATA: 23-24/11/2017

LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: École Belge d'Athènes ; Nederlands Instituut Athene (Athens, Greece)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: École Belge d'Athènes ; Nederlands Instituut Athene

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