An Archaeology of Religion

An Archaeology of Religion


By (author) Kit W. Wesler

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  • Publisher: University Press of America
  • Format: Hardback | 356 pages
  • Dimensions: 155mm x 231mm x 28mm | 726g
  • Publication date: 19 April 2012
  • Publication City/Country: Lanham, MD
  • ISBN 10: 0761858458
  • ISBN 13: 9780761858454
  • Edition statement: New.

Product description

Archaeologists have been increasingly turning their attention to the study of religion, but the field so far has lacked a cross-cultural overview. This text challenges archaeological conventions by refusing to respect the geographic and temporal boundaries with which archaeologists too often define their field. Worldwide in range and comparative in perspective, this exploration is guided by several fundamental questions: how do we recognize religion in the archaeological record? When should we recognize the first activities we call religious? What distinguishes a world religion? How can we see the formations of modern world religions in the archaeological record? An Archaeology of Religion begins with the first glimmers of what might be considered religious expression in the Paleolithic period and concludes with the complexities of world religions today. This book is an ambitious attempt to survey how scholars approach the identification of religious sites and practices in the archaeological record.

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Author information

Kit W. Wesler is professor of archaeology and director of the Mid-America Remote Sensing Center at Murray State University in Kentucky. He completed a Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He has served as a Fulbright professor and researcher at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and the University of the West Indies, Jamaica.

Table of contents

List of Figures List of Tables Preface Chapter 1. Introduction and Definitions Chapter 2. Grave Issues Chapter 3. Shamanism Chapter 4. Neolithic Chapter 5. Gods and Temples Chapter 6. Archaeology of Hinduism Chapter 7. Archaeology of Buddhism Chapter 8. Archaeology of Judaism Chapter 9. Archaeology of Christianity Chapter 10. Archaeology of Islam Chapter 11. Archaeology of Pilgrimage Chapter 12. Cults, Regional Cults, and World Religions References