medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Dear Brenda,
Wow! Very interesting burial. What are you working on? 
For possibly similar examples to the Roman one I have the following notes from
a Scandinavian article,in case you are interested. (And rereading the notes, I fear
I have misquoted the article in print - ouch! Aside from picking up on the rather
unlikely possibility of a foetus being expelled by gasses.)'Kistefodsel' meand
'birth in a casket' or the like, the implication being that the birth took place
after the body was put in the coffin.

Sellevold, Berit Jansen   "Fødsel og død: Kvinners dødelighet i forbindelse med svangerskap og fødsel i forhistorisk tid og middelalder, belyst ut fra studier av skjelettmaterialer"  Kvinnors Rosengård Medeltidskvinnors liv och hälsa, lust och barnafödande ed. Hedda Gunneng et al. Kungälv 1989   pp. 79-97

often, adult and child are found together in a grave. usually interp. as mother and child, but this need not be the case. For example in contemp. Norway stillborn children are laid in grave with a newly dead adult. 87  //see also Bø article// an arch. example p. 93

end of 6th or early 7th c. anglo-saxon gravefield form Kingsworthy in Hampshire in England. woman had a knife as grave gift. was 27-30 when  died. kistefødsel.  illustration p. 89  child´s bones within pelvis, head outside, presumably expelled by gasses. 
from Hawkes Sonia, and Kalvin Wells, An Anglo-Saxon obstetrical calamity from Kingsworthy, Hampshire. Med. and Biol. Illustr. 25/1975 pp. 47-51

two women from Æbleholt monastery both c. 40 and foetus c. 5 months. first is a miscarriage. foetus lay on back between woman´s legs, and was buried in the ritual christian position, with head in west and hands folded over breast. this means the child was baptized, and the mother and child died at the same time.  91

other ex. from Æbleholt is Kistefødsel, head outside pelvis, legs still in. 91

see  Møller-Christiansen, Vilhelm. Æbelholt Kloster. Copenhagen 1982.
and    Møller-Christiansen, Vilhelm, Jens Østergaard og Aage Rousell.  Æbelholt Klostermuseum 4  Copehnhagen 1969  


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