About the Project

Welcome to the Continuing Bonds Project website!

The Continuing Bonds Project (2016-18) is a two year Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded collaboration between archaeology and healthcare at the University of Bradford and LOROS Hospice, Leicester.

It stems from recognition that discussions around death and dying are often taboo subjects in our modern day society and that, as such, conversations surrounding the wishes of loved ones are frequently left until the last minute, or not discussed at all. The aim of the project is to see whether archaeology can help in this.

Archaeology demonstrates that attitudes towards death and dying in the past have not always been so ‘closed’, and the archaeological (and ethnographic) record demonstrates a huge variety in the ways in which people have dealt with mortality over many millennia.

We hope that introducing health professionals and students to some of this material will facilitate discussion around the topic and challenge modern western attitudes to death, dying and bereavement. For example, the project takes its name from the concept that establishing ‘continuing bonds’ with the dead can be as, if not more, beneficial for the bereaved than attempting total emotional severance after a prescribed period of mourning – something which we frequently see in the archaeological record.

We are currently recruiting for our first workshops; please get in touch at continuingbonds@bradford.ac.uk to get involved and for further information.

We’re also keen to generate as much discussion around the topic as possible, so feel free to join the conversation via Twitter (#continuingbonds), Facebook or Pinterest!

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