Ritualiser, Gérer, Piller : Rencontre autour des réouvertures de tombes et de la manipulation des ossements (re-opening the graves)

From Wednesday 10 May to Friday 12 May 2017

After death, the integrity of the burial can be disrupted in many ways, including through the intervention of the living. Despite the fact that funeral space management can often be responsible for these upheavals, it is not the only reason for men to rearrange graves. Depending on the place, the periods and the places of burial, the motives are very diverse, without being synonymous with destruction or contempt. Professionals of archaeology are thus regularly confronted with these changes, the interpretation of which is often highly dependent on the conditions of the search, methods applied to the study of graves as well as knowledge provided by other types of sources (written, iconographic, ethnographic, etc.).

The aim of this Rencontre, which took place from May 10 to 12 2017 in Poitiers, was to open discussions on the reshuffling of graves by questioning the motivations of the living and the means available to the archaeologist to reach their understanding. This symposium is intended to be international and multidisciplinary in order to confront the experiences, the techniques of observation and the interpretations made by archaeologists. Discussion will focus on three sessions, each of which will address a type of sepulchrous reopening, from the prehistoric period to contemporary times. These types, without being exclusive to each other, group together the major actions that could lead to a reshuffle of graves, namely: actions around the management of the funerary space, those demonstrating a willingness to plunder and thus to take over furniture in structures and finally actions interpreted as cultural, often complex to identify.

Organizing committee Astrid A. NotermanMathilde Cervel

Scientific committee Frédéric Adam (Inrap, Archimède UMR 7044)Hélène Barrand-Emam (Antea-Archéologie, Archimède UMR 7044)Cécile Chapelain de Seréville-Niel (Craham UMR 6273)Fanny Chenal (Inrap, Archimède UMR 7044)Valérie Delattre (Inrap, ArTeHis UMR 6298)Stéphane Rottier (Pacea UMR 5199)

Scientific and financial partners : Ministère de la Culture et de la CommunicationCESCM (UMR 7302)InrapUniversité de Stockholm

Number of participants : 110

Photo gallery of the meeting


The publication will be available in 2020.