Sylviane Déderix

PhD student F.R.S-FNRS
Funerary and landscape archaeology

AEGIS Researcher

Minoan civilization yielded interesting, diversified funerary remains. Unfortunately, in spite of its abundance, the archaeological record related to the mortuary practices of Bronze Age Crete is badly affected and lots of questions persist. In the absence of undisturbed contents, and given the limited evidence from the tombs themselves, progress lies in studying available funerary data within their broader cultural context. For this reason my PhD research aims to define the spatial patterning of Minoan tombs within their wider landscape. Calling on Geographical Information Systems’ services makes it possible to describe the distribution of burial places in relation to the environmental and archaeological data. This can in turn provide some insight about the natural and cultural criteria that influenced the establishment of cemeteries during the Cretan Bronze Age. Since the choices related to the location of the cemeteries are amongst the most fundamental decisions made by a society regarding the treatment of its dead, it is expected that my research will contribute to a better understanding of the Minoan funerary behaviors and their meanings.