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The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Ritual and Religion

The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Ritual and Religion

Hardback Oxford Handbooks

Edited by Timothy Insoll

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Hardback | 1134 pages
  • Dimensions: 182mm x 248mm x 64mm | 2,381g
  • Publication date: 13 January 2012
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 019923244X
  • ISBN 13: 9780199232444
  • Illustrations note: 149 in-text illustrations
  • Sales rank: 772,039

Product description

The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Ritual and Religion provides a comprehensive overview by period and region of the relevant archaeological material in relation to theory, methodology, definition, and practice. Although, as the title indicates, the focus is upon archaeological investigations of ritual and religion, by necessity ideas and evidence from other disciplines are also included, among them anthropology, ethnography, religious studies, and history. The Handbook covers a global span - Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, and the Americas - and reaches from the earliest prehistory (the Lower and Middle Palaeolithic) to modern times. In addition, chapters focus upon relevant themes, ranging from landscape to death, from taboo to water, from gender to rites of passage, from ritual to fasting and feasting. Written by over sixty specialists, renowned in their respective fields, the Handbook presents the very best in current scholarship, and will serve both as a comprehensive introduction to its subject and as a stimulus to further research.

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Author information

Timothy Insoll is Professor of Archaeology at the University of Manchester.

Review quote

This [Handbook] gives many riches, and is both extremely thought provoking and timely. It will be used and enjoyed by readers at many different levels. Alasdair Whittle, European Journal of Archaeology

Table of contents

Introduction: Ritual and Religion in Archaeological Perspective ; I. ELEMENTS AND EXPRESSION ; 1. Monumentality ; 2. Landscape ; 3. Water ; 4. Fire ; 5. Myth and Folklore ; 6. Cosmogony ; 7. Death ; 8. Taboo ; 9. The Many Dimensions of Ritual ; 10. Personhood and the Body ; 11. Sacrifice ; 12. Ideology ; 13. Feasting and Fasting ; 14. Gender and Religion in Archaeology ; 15. Archaeologies of the Senses ; 16. Syncretism and Religious Fusion ; 17. Technology ; 18. Rites of Passage ; 19. The Archaeology of Contemporary Conflict ; 20. Rock Art, Religion and Ritual ; II. PREHISTORIC EUROPEAN RITUAL AND RELIGION ; 21. Religion and Ritual in the Lower and Middle Palaeolithic ; 22. Religion and Ritual in the Upper Palaeolithic ; 23. The Mesolithic ; 24. Ritual and Religion in the Neolithic ; 25. Fire, Earth, Water: An Elemental Cosmography of the European Bronze Age ; 26. The Iron Age ; III. RELIGION AND RITUAL IN WORLD PREHISTORY ; 27. Sub-Saharan Africa ; 28. The Prehistory of Religion in China ; 29. The Archaeology of Religion and Ritual in the Prehistoric Japanese Archipelago ; 30. Ritual and Religion in Southeast Asia ; 31. Historicising Cosmologies in Australia and Papua New Guinea (Historicising Cosmologies in Australia and Papua New Guinea ; 32. Pacific and New Zealand ; 33. Walking Upside-Down and Backwards: Art and Religion in the Ancient Caribbean ; 34. Recognizing Religion in Mesoamerican Archaeology: Maya ; 35. Aztecs ; 36. Inca ; 37. Moche Religion ; 38. North America: Pueblos ; 39. North America: Eastern Woodlands ; 40. The North American Northwest Coast Religious System: Coastal Northwest ; 41. Ritual and Archaeological Visibility in the Far Northeast of North America ; IV. RELIGION AND CULT OF THE OLD WORLD ; 42. Prehistoric Religions in the Aegean ; 43. Ancient Greece ; 44. Etruscan Ritual and Religion ; 45. Egypt ; 46. Rome: Imperial and Local Religions ; 47. Maltese Prehistoric Religion ; 48. Mesopotamia ; 49. Retrieving the Supernatural: Ritual and Religion in the Prehistoric Levant ; 50. Iran ; 51. Anatolia ; 52. Old Norse and Germanic Religion ; 53. Pre-Christian Practices in the Anglo-Saxon World ; 54. The Archaeology of Baltic Religions ; V. ARCHAEOLOGY OF WORLD RELIGIONS ; 55. The Archaeology of Ritual and Religion in Ancient Israel and the Levant, and the Origins of Judaism ; 56. The Archaeology of Judaism from the Persian Period to the Sixth Century AD ; 57. Archaeology of Hinduism ; 58. Buddhism ; 59. Christianity ; 60. Islam ; VI. ARCHAEOLOGY OF INDIGENOUS AND NEW RELIGIONS ; 61. Shamanism ; 62. Animism and Totemism ; 63. Neo-Shamanism: Pagan and 'Neo-Shamanic' Interactions with Archaeology ; 64. Druidism and Neo-Paganism ; 65. Ancestor Cults ; 66. Divine Kings