Main content

Modern-day Grave Goods - Politics of Alcohol

Laurie Taylor finds out about what we leave with the dead and why. He talks to Sheila Harper, sociologist at the Centre for Death and Society at the University of Bath.

Laurie Taylor finds out about what we leave with the dead and why. From clothes to jewellery, photographs, hats, eye glasses, walking sticks, letters and even food, alcohol and tobacco, the objects mourners leave in the coffins and caskets of their loved ones tells us a huge amount about our attitudes to death and the rituals it involves.

Laurie talks to Sheila Harper, sociologist at the Centre for Death and Society at the University of Bath, whose new study about 'modern-day grave goods' uncovers the fascinating, touching and often moving examples of our gifts to the dead and why the objects we leave today are remarkably similar to the kinds of items uncovered by archaeologists in graves going back thousand of years.

Duncan Sayer, archaeologist from the Centre for Death and Society, discusses how human society has buried their dead.

Also in the programme: alcohol as a lens to understand social change. The links between drink, national identity and economic prosperity.

Available now

30 minutes

Broadcasts

Download this programme

Subscribe to this programme or download individual episodes.

Podcast