In a recent post I launched a new book project with the superb Femke Lippok of the University of Leiden.
We are compiling an academic book via the medium of detailed interviews via Microsoft Teams. Introducing interdisciplinary approaches, the latest field and lab-based methods, and a wide range of new discoveries for cremation practices in the mid-/late first millennium AD, the book Cremation in the Early Middle Ages will be a ‘first’ for academia.
The book will bring together in one place the latest ideas and approaches linking death, fire and identity in the Early Middle Ages.
When, where, how and why did early medieval communities cremate all or some of their dead? Femke and I will be co-editing the book, which we hope will interest students and scholars of medieval archaeology and history as well as those seeking to interpret cremation practices in other periods and parts of the world, as well as historians and scholars of death.
Our first interview was with Belgian archaeologist Rica Annaert, but in close succession Femke and I have conducted a second interview with another of the participants of the 2018 Leiden workshop that inspired this project. Last week, we interviewed Dr Egge Knol. As well as being a super-friendly bow-tie wearing museum archaeologist (he is Curator at the Groninger Museum, Netherlands), Egge has long studied early medieval cemeteries in Frisia where cremation almost always occurs alongside inhumation graves for many centuries. Through the edited interview text, supported by additional ‘fact-boxes’ and images, Egge’s chapter will not only introduce the Frisian early medieval burial data, but question some old-fashioned assumptions about the relationship between inhumation and cremation practices more broadly in North West Europe.