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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Graves from Dahomey: beliefs, ritual and society in ancient Bénin
Authors:Merkyte, IngaISNI
Randsborg, KlavsISNI
Periodical:Journal of African Archaeology
Geographic term:Benin
Dahomey polity
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/43135468
Abstract:A series of excavated graves and grave inventories from the area around Abomey-Bohicon in Bénin, dating to the days of the kingdom of Dahomey, are presented by the BDArch team (Bénin-Denmark Archaeology Project). They are among the very few documented burials from this region of the world and have yielded unprecedented insight into social performance and ritual behaviour at death, in addition to their unique archaeological documentation. The grave material demonstrates a number of similarities as well as continuity over time of the mortuary practices in the core area of the Dahomean kingdom. Despite the fact that none of the graves with certainty could be attributed to a period prior to the traditionally accepted date of the founding of the Dahomey kingdom - some time during the second quarter of the 17th century - there are various indications that the mortuary practices take their roots in earlier periods. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract, edited]