Out on 20 April 2023

The Archaeology of Loss

Sarah Tarlow

20 April 2023
288 pages


My whole adult life, I have made a study of death.

Sarah Tarlow has devoted her working life to the study of death, burial practices, and the rituals of grief.

She is also a widow.

Shortly after her appointment as the Chair of Archaeology at the University of Leicester, her partner Mark began to suffer from a bitter, drawn-out and undiagnosed illness, leaving him unable to care for himself. Eventually, two weeks after they married, Mark waits for Sarah and their children to leave the house, and ends his own life in an extraordinary act of courage and love.

Although Sarah is considered an expert in the history and archaeology of death, she will find that nothing could have prepared her for the reality of illness, care-giving and losing someone you love.

A fiercely honest, intimate and unique blend of the professional and the personal, The Archaeology of Loss describes a universal experience with an unflinching and singular gaze. Told with humour, intelligence and urgency, this is an unforgettable piece of writing.

Brave, bold and exquisitely told and with such vibrancy and force, The Archaeology of Loss is a personal story of love, grief, and pain perfectly framed by the author's deep knowledge of the archaeologies of death and mourning.