Diálogos con los muertos. Ideología y cementerio

  • Randall H. McGuire Binghamton University
Palavras-chave: Ideología, Cementério, Muertos,

Resumo

Los arqueólogos están acostumbrados a asumir una relación directa entre la inversión funeraria y el estatus social (Binford, 1971; Saxe, 1970; Tainter, 1978; O’Shea, 1984; Bartel, 1982). Muchos han supuesto que los ricos siempre han adquirido para sí las formas de exhibición mortuoria más suntuosas. Para estos investigadores, el ritual mortuorio, la forma de enterramiento, el ajuar funerario y los monumentos reflejan directamente la dimensión social, que a su vez es el resultado de las relaciones materiales que determinaron el nivel evolutivo de la cultura.

Recientemente, un número cada vez mayor de investigadores han rechazado la conceptualización del ritual funerario como algo determinado y en ningún caso determinante, y en su lugar han ubicado al ritual mortuorio en el ámbito de la ideología (Hodder, 1982; Pearson, 1982; Shanks & Tilley, 1982; Miller & Tilley, 1984; Kristiansen, 1984).  Ellos consideran al análisis de los restos mortuorios como un caso particular dentro del estudio más general sobre cómo la ideología legitima el orden social. Ellos destacan el poder y las anomalías entre los poderosos y los que carecen de poder en las sociedades como una dinámica interna para el cambio cultural. Como ideología, el ritual funerario no se refiere necesariamente a las relaciones reales de poder en una sociedad, sino a una expresión idealizada de estas relaciones. El ritual actúa ideológicamente para mantener el orden social al distorsionar la verdadera naturaleza de las relaciones sociales. El ritual funerario es, por lo tanto, una parte activa de la negociación y la lucha entre los poderosos y los que carecen de poder en la sociedad.

Mi propósito inicial al estudiar las lápidas de los últimos 180 años en el condado de Broome, Nueva York, fue determinar si proporcionaban un reflejo directo de la estratificación social en la comunidad. Luego de un breve examen, fue evidente que en algunos períodos temporales sí lo hacían y en otros no. El supuesto de que reflejan directamente el orden social dentro de una única etapa evolutiva claramente no se confirma. Más importante aún, la respuesta a mi pregunta inicial planteó temas mucho más fascinantes que la investigación original.

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Publicado
2018-10-15
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Artigos