Death, grief and funerary practices are central to any analysis of social, anthropological, artistic and religious worlds. However, cemeteries - the key conceptual and physical site for death - have rarely been the focus of archaeological research. 'Prioritizing Death and Society' examines the structure, organisation and significance of cemeteries in the Southern Levant, one of the key areas for both migration and settlement in both prehistory and antiquity. Spanning 6,000 years, from the Chalcolithic to the present day, 'Prioritizing Death and Society' presents new research to analyse the formation and regional variation in cemeteries. By examining both ancient and present-day - nationally Jewish - cemeteries, the study reveals the commonalities and differences in the ways in which death has been and continues to be ritualised, memorialised and understood.
Assaf Nativ is a post-doctoral fellow in the Zinman Institute of Archaeology, University of Haifa, and is a staff member in the publication project of the Iron Age Fortress Mound at Tel Arad, Israel.