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How funerals are portrayed in TV’s Game of Thrones and the supernatural side of burial sites are just some of the topics that will be discussed by University of Chester students as part of an online conference exploring how archaeologists contribute to understandings of mortality in the digital age.

The students will be joined by academics and other experts from across the globe for the sixth University of Chester Archaeology Student Conference, ‘DigiDeath: Public Archaeologies of Digital Mortality’ which is open to all, on Wednesday January 27 and Thursday January 28.

Further presentations at the free event run by final-year Archaeology undergraduate students will explore:

  • How museums have chosen to feature mortuary archaeology in their online tours and collections - with virtual visits becoming all the more valued during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Where the line is that shouldn’t be crossed when presenting mortuary archaeology exhibits, videos, images and information online.
  • The advantages of using TikTok as a platform for teaching about archaeology.
  • The boat funerals in film trilogy The Lord of the Rings, the film Thor: The Dark World and Game of Thrones as fictional representations of funeral practice.
  • Digital news media and mortuary archaeology.
  • How video games like the Tomb Raider series and Skyrim reward the act of grave robbing and looting for personal gain, while the people buried in the tomb - and their respective societies - are presented as attractions or curiosities rather than someone deserving of our respect - and the potential consequences.
  • Who owns the rights to human remains in museums?

Howard Williams, Professor of Archaeology at the University of Chester said: “This year’s conference is truly a first in terms of its format and theme: it will explore how mortuary and funerary practices of the past meet the modern digital world.

“Join us for a distinctive public archaeology conference taking place as a digital event without the need for registration on the evening of January 27th and all-day on January 28th.”

Student Jade Foxall said: “Organising and getting ready to present at the conference has been a bit nerve-racking. But I can already tell that it’s going to be such a rewarding experience and since it’s going to be virtual it creates a unique opportunity to reach out to a wider audience and give the virtual world insight into the debate of #Digideath.”

Student Tina Sviggum added: “Organising a conference, as well as presenting at one, is something I've never done before which means that I'm learning a lot, but for that same exact reason it is quite scary. I am however enjoying it, and after the rehearsal, I am confident that this is going to be a very successful conference.”

For further information, including the programme, please visit:

https://howardwilliamsblog.wordpress.com/2021/01/15/digideath-public-archaeologies-of-digital-mortality-27th-28th-january-2021-programme-and-timetable/ and https://digideath2021.wordpress.com/?fbclid=IwAR3nvROSgjV6uglqPIvWB4DHzf6a5RJD9vDaRjcq008e-7FqG6i_UakfBks.

Presentations will be live and pre-recorded via Microsoft Teams at:

In addition, papers will be shared via social media at:

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