Networking social behaviours in a 19th-century Lisbon cemetery

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This paper aims to study one of Lisbon's 19th-century cemeteries, Ajuda, from a network theory point of view, joining social organization and network theory from a movement and visibility perspective. We will study movement networks, bearing in mind when applying our method that cemeteries are organized as cities with streets and “houses” (tombs), and try to understand whether the location of these monuments took into consideration the places where people frequently passed. We will adapt the betweenness score to study movement since a cemetery is a closed space with mandatory entrances. We will optimize this idea of movement through visibility networks, considering the cemetery as a space where the existence or absence of visibility can increase or decrease attraction and consequently connectivity. In the mid-19th century, Lisbon suffered significant changes in the management of death. The many centuries-old traditions of burying people within and around churches were interrupted when a law was passed that forbade people from being buried anywhere except in public cemeteries. This led to the creation of three major cemeteries in different parts of the city, the final resting place of Lisbon's population, independently of their wealth or social status. Our analysis will demonstrate and debate how these new places partially reflected the city's social organization and how the evolution of burial monuments tended to reflect social and cultural practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-91
Number of pages17
JournalJournal Computer Applications in Archaeology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2024


  • Network analysis
  • Cemeteries
  • Social structures
  • Movement
  • Visibility
  • Adapted betweenness


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