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Title: The unburied prisoners from the jail of the Inquisition of Évora, Portugal
Authors: Magalhães, Bruno
Matos Fernandes, Teresa
Santos, Ana Luísa
Keywords: Mortuary context
Religious persecution
Issue Date: Sep-2015
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 39 (2015) 36–41
Abstract: Each society has cultural rules to deal with the death of its members, including the burial practices. This study aims to present and interpret the mortuary context associated with the human remains recovered at the so-called Jail Cleaning Yard of the Inquisition Court of Évora (1536–1821). Approximately 12% of the yard was excavated, an area of 20.75 m2, which consisted of layers of sediment containing domestic waste. The sample under analysis consists of 12 adult individuals in articulation (3 male, 9 female) and a minimum of 16 individuals identified from a commingled context. Funerary structures were absent and no grave goods were found. Moreover, the orientation and position of the body and limbs are variable. The archaeological and anthropological contexts, including the Inquisition individual historical records consulted, are consistent with individuals not reconciled with the Catholic faith. The manuscripts from the Inquisition allowed the identification of 87 prisoners who died during the period in which the dump had been in use (somewhere between 1568 and 1634), and attested that 11 (12.6%) of them were confirmed discarded in the dump, likely because they were charged of ‘Judaism, heresy and/or apostasy’. More than a penalty to the body, this was a punishment to the soul of the deceased. The specific context of this place, as well as all anthropological, archaeological and historical information helped to characterize these individuals as unburied dead, once a proper funeral had been denied to them.
ISSN: 0278-4165
Type: article
Appears in Collections:BIO - Publicações - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais Com Arbitragem Científica

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