Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Barra O'Donnabhain and Katherine Beatty
Society for American Archaeology, 77th Annual Meeting
About Face: a ‘careless’ burial from Knowth, Ireland
Memphis, Tennessee
Oral Presentation
Optional Fields

An atypical Iron Age burial from Knowth was recorded as a ‘careless’ deposit.  Re-examination indicates a prone burial and we suggest that the deprivation of the face may be deliberate.  We argue that the power wielded by the face has been overlooked in bioarchaeology. Saturated with culturally produced meanings, the face is a powerful site of personhood and identity formed at the interface of the social and physiological.  The face-to-face relationship is an essential primacy for investigation into the lived experience of the world.  De-facing the individual limited the deceased’s spiritual prospects but also reduced their impact on the living.