Textiles – Decay and preservation in burials

Author(s): Sanna Lipkin; Erika Ruhl

Year: 2017


Archaeological textiles are a rare find, often closely associated with human remains. While the decay of human remains is impacted and even slowed by the presence of funerary clothes, decomposition processes can likewise serve to preserve textile materials. This paper examines the taphonomy of funerary textiles in close association with human remains in northern Finnish contexts, addressing a series of in situ burials still "dressed" in funerary clothing. Some burials examined in this paper mummified naturally due to cold winters, while others did not, likely those buried during warmer seasons. These burials will be further contrasted with traditionally excavated burials and textile material to explore the impact of differing conditions and the mutual effects of human and textile decay and preservation. By examining the taphonomic processes affecting these remains and textiles, this paper offers new insight into the inextricably intertwined nature of human remains and burial clothing in archaeological contexts.

Cite this Record

Textiles – Decay and preservation in burials. Sanna Lipkin, Erika Ruhl. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435338)


Mummification Preservation Textiles

Geographic Keywords
Finland Western Europe

Temporal Keywords
c. 1600-1850

Spatial Coverage

min long: 19.648; min lat: 59.807 ; max long: 31.582; max lat: 70.089 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 275