The idea of an exhibition/catalogue on death may not sound very pleasant. Yet, there is no denying that death, once tamed as an abstract notion or concept, can become a powerful tool for social analysis. This is what this exhibition and its catalogue hope to attain. To maintain a certain consistency, this publication has been limited to the period from 1453 to 1922 and deals uniquely with the culture and mentalities of the Muslim population within the boundaries of the Ottoman capital, Istanbul. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach to balance the varying viewpoints on death contributed by ethnography, urban history, anthropology, political history and philology, this work is designed as a collection of case studies regrouped under a number of general headings, including amongst others, Death and the City, Empire and Death, the Birth of the Ottoman Tombstone, Suicide, Dealing with Death, Women, Aspects of Modernity, and State, Nation and Death.