An Archaeology of Ancestors

An Archaeology of Ancestors : Tomb Cult and Hero Cult in Early Greece


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In this fresh consideration of the origins of the ancient Greeks' ideas and practices concerning their own past, Carla M. Antonaccio demonstrates that hero cult and ancestor cult persisted, throughout the Iron Age, long before epic poetry's heroic narratives were widely disseminated. Although it was not until the dissolution of Iron Age societies that epic poetry and organized hero cult developed to aid claims to legitimacy, practices such as visiting tombs to make offerings were common, and contradict the usual picture of Iron Age religious conservatism.

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  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 149.9 x 226.1 x 23.6mm | 458.14g
  • Lanham, MDUnited States
  • English
  • Illustrations, maps, plans
  • 084767942X
  • 9780847679423
  • 1,783,071

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Review quote

The book is a mine of documentation, presented with skill and knowledge; an extensive bibliography and a brief index complete this facinating volume. Journal Of Indoeuropean Studies This is a scholarly work which must be read by anyone teaching Greek religion, Greek civilization, or Homer, and would also be enjoyed by the well-iformed lay reader. Religious Studies Review There is much of value in the present work, especially her discussions of individual sites. Since Antonaccio is consistently critical and properly cautious in her analysis of her accumulative evidence, her eventual sythesis will be sound. -- Ian Begg, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada Based on careful examination of archaeological data, this study of ancient practices is motivated by a desire to understand and explain the social values and interests that produced the burial practices. Libraries will want this book, and so will all interested in Greek archaeology. CHOICE

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About Carla Maria Antonaccio

Carla M. Antonaccio is assistant professor of classics at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.

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