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CALL. 14.08.2018: Coming Together: Liminality and Transition in Death – the coming together of diffe


Cambridge Annual Student Archaeology Conference14-16 September 2018, McDonald Institute, Cambridge Session chairs: Leah Damman (University of Cambridge), Margalida Coll (Universitat de les Illes Balears) and Sonia Pastor (Universitat d’Alacant)



LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: McDonald Institute (Cambridge, England)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Jess Bates; Leah Damman; Kyra Kaercher; Alice Rose; Bryony Smerdon; Emily Tilby. Cambridge Annual Student Archaeology Conference (CASA).

INFO: web - CALL -


Liminal spaces and transitional places in the physical and cultural landscape are continually part of the human experience throughout history and prehistory. These bridges, or links, between the known and unknown, life and death, this world and others are shown to be key parts of community belief systems and mythology. Most prevalently this liminality is evidenced in the sphere of death and dying with mortuary customs often tied to either physical locations or surrounded by symbolic rites to assist in the transition from life to death. Archaeologically the evidence for these transitions is varied by region, period in time and peoples, yet with this individuality in expression overarching themes are also visible. On the physical landscape naturally formed spaces such as caves, bodies of water (such as rivers, waterfalls and pools), and rock formations have all provided liminal, even magical, locations that become focal points for peoples in these transitions. Human built spaces like pyramids, temples and altars, megaliths and cairns also held special places in societies for connecting to the ‘other’. These boundaries, doors, thresholds and gateways are all over human history and evidence our need to connect with what is beyond this life. This session aims to focus on these transitional, liminal spaces for the dead and dying and what they represent, how they were interacted with and their role in past societies.

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