Workshop: Inscribing Funerary Spaces
When: Thu, 30.03.2023 9:00 AM until Sat, 01.04.2023 1:00 PM
Where: Warburgstraße 26, 20354 Hamburg
From antiquity to modern times, human beings have developed different attitudes toward death and different ways of performing mortuary practices and thus shaping privileged spaces. In almost every culture, written artefacts, which are extremely different in terms of materiality and function, are essential elements of structuring the funerary landscape.
From inscriptions carved or painted on the walls of funerary monuments to written artefacts accompanying the deceased in the long journey to the netherworld, they offer a glimpse not only into the lives of the individuals buried within these areas but also into how societies developed different cultural understandings of the mortuary space. In different ways, these written artefacts can be understood as valuable sources for understanding social and religious customs.
Various cultures over space and time perceive the necropoleis as intrinsically connected with the ‘space of the living’, a threshold between the world of mortals and the world of deities and spirits conceivable to the performance of a variety of ritual and social activities. On the other hand, other societies consider burial grounds as places of memory and sorrow that must necessarily be kept apart from the world of the living.
The variety of approaches to the social understanding of the mortuary landscape has already raised numerous questions regarding the cultural and religious response to death in different cultures and times. In this workshop, we will concentrate on the role of written artefacts and analyse how they framed and structured the ‘cities of the dead’. We aim at opening an interdisciplinary dialogue meant to offer a cross-cultural perspective on the social understanding of the mortuary landscape as inscribed space.