University of Oulu

Ikäheimo, Janne (2020) The rescue excavation and reburial of late pet animals as explorative archaeological autoethnography. In: Äikäs, T. & Lipkin, S. (eds.) Monographs of the Archaeological Society of Finland, 9, Entangled beliefs and rituals : religion in Finland and Sápmi from Stone Age to contemporary times, pp. 236-252. http://www.sarks.fi/masf/masf_8/MASF8-11-Ik%C3%A4heimo.pdf

The rescue excavation and reburial of late pet animals as explorative archaeological autoethnography

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Author: Ikäheimo, Janne1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 30.9 MB)
Persistent link: http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi-fe202101283094
Language: English
Published: Archaeological Society of Finland, 2020
Publish Date: 2021-01-28
Description:

Abstract

Autoethnography is founded on personal participation, description, and analysis that results in a higher consciousness of the studied subject when personal experiences are transformed through systematic sociological introspection into understanding regarding other people’s feelings and behavior. Hence, the chapter describes the rescue excavation of late family companion animals from the backyard flowerbed and their subsequent re-burial to the local pet cemetery through the lens of explorative archaeological autoethnography. While being physically routine, the excavation caused deep emotions of self-reflection and self-confrontation ranging from the questioning of the author’s capabilities as a field archaeologist to human-animal relationships and the afterlife. On the contrary, the activity at the pet cemetery involved significant physical input, as each pet owner is responsible for backfilling their pet burial. Emotional and physical are here argued to enrich and deepen the interpretative framework of pet cemetery studies by offering new insights into the motives and actions of pet owners. Along this line, a somewhat excessive and constantly evolving memorial combining elements from several religions and cultures was set up on the grave. It aims to establish a material-culture-based dialogue with other pet owners in a dynamic deathscape, where pet memorials designs constantly seek to redefine and renegotiate the acceptable limits of pet animal commemoration.

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Series: Monographs of the Archaeological Society of Finland
ISSN: 1799-862X
ISSN-E: 1799-8611
ISSN-L: 1799-862X
ISBN: 978-952-68453-8-8
Issue: 8
Pages: 236 - 252
Host publication: Entangled beliefs and rituals : religion in Finland and Sápmi from Stone Age to contemporary times
Type of Publication: A3 Book chapter
Field of Science: 615 History and archaeology
Subjects:
Copyright information: © 2020 The Authors.