talad jan 6 - to physical condition (age, health) but is...

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The Archaeologist Looks at Death 1/6/11 12:30 PM January 6, 2011 Intro to Course As an archaeologist, a person must take an anthropological view of death Cultural relativism o Not projecting our cultural categories o All cultures logical and rational in own terms o Understanding how a practice of a people makes sense in the context of that culture/society Cultural context o Interpret something as part of larger cultural whole (Metcalf 1978 p.8) Death is a biological fact, but also a culturally constructed category (differences between cultures) o Physical death is not the same as social death ! Concept of “mate” – someone who is seen as dead due
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Unformatted text preview: to physical condition (age, health) but is still alive " Socially treated as dead o Death is not the only alternative to life ! “Undead”, “mate” o Death is a process, not an event ! No clear moment of death, it is a process – different stages that are culturally determined o Death is not the end ! Not “dead and gone” ! Kayapo in Brazil – when a member dies, they do not leave living world, the spirit comes back in the form of birds o Degrees of death ! Berawan in Borneo " Someone who is dead but not COMPLETELY dead o Good vs bad death ! Good death – recognize impending demise, settle all matters prior...
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This note was uploaded on 02/27/2011 for the course ANTH 0538 taught by Professor Bermann during the Spring '11 term at Pittsburgh.

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