The Bioarchaeology of Ritual and Religion

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9781785708282: The Bioarchaeology of Ritual and Religion
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The Bioarchaeology of Ritual and Religion is the first volume dedicated to exploring ritual and religious practice in past societies from a variety of environmental remains. Building on recent debates surrounding, for instance, performance, materiality and the false dichotomy between ritualistic and secular behaviour, this book investigates notions of ritual and religion through the lens of perishable material culture. Research centring on bioarchaeological evidence and drawing on methods from archaeological science has traditionally focused on functional questions surrounding environment and economy. However, recent years have seen an increased recognition of the under-exploited potential for scientific data to provide detailed information relating to ritual and religious practice. This volume explores the diverse roles of plant, animal and other organic remains in ritual and religion, as foods, offerings, sensory or healing mediums, grave goods, and worked artefacts. It also provides insights into how archaeological science can shed light on the reconstruction of ritual processes and the framing of rituals. The 14 papers showcase current and new approaches in the investigation of bioarchaeological evidence for elucidating complex social issues and worldviews. The case studies are intentionally broad, encompassing a range of sub-disciplines of bioarchaeology, including archaeobotany, anthracology, palynology, micromorphology, geoarchaeology, zooarchaeology (including avian and worked bone studies), archaeomalacology and organic residue analysis. The temporal and geographical coverage is equally wide, extending across Europe from the Mediterranean and Aegean to the Baltic and North Atlantic regions and from the Mesolithic to the medieval period. The volume also includes a discursive paper by Prof. Brian Hayden, who suggests a different interpretative framework of archaeological contexts and rituals.

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...the authors are able to provide a new and insightful perspective – and demonstrate their ability to shed light on burial rituals for which the actual remains are unable to provide much information... Through its breadth of data, the reader is able to appreciate just how much bioarchaeology – all the many subdisciplines of it – can contribute to our study of the past. Source: Current Archaeology 19/11/2018

From the Publisher:

Alexandra Livarda is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Archaeology, University of Nottingham (UK). She is an archaeobotanist with particular interests in the archaeology of food and the social role of plants in Roman and medieval societies of north-western Europe. She has also worked extensively in the Aegean. Her research interests also include ancient sensory studies, the bioarchaeology of rituals and ancient trade networks.

Richard Madgwick is a British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellow at the School of History, Archaeology and Religion, Cardiff University. He is currently working on the 3 year project Reconstructing the Feasts of Late Neolithic Britain.

Santiago Riera Mora is Associate Professor in the Department of Archaeology and History, University of Barcelona, Spain. He is a palynologist and landscape archaeologist, specialising in landscape history, human impact and archaeopalynology, mainly applied to urban contexts and past funerary practices.

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Book Description Oxbow Books, United Kingdom, 2018. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. The Bioarchaeology of Ritual and Religion is the first volume dedicated to exploring ritual and religious practice in past societies from a variety of 'environmental' remains. Building on recent debates surrounding, for instance, performance, materiality and the false dichotomy between ritualistic and secular behaviour, this book investigates notions of ritual and religion through the lens of perishable material culture. Research centring on bioarchaeological evidence and drawing on methods from archaeological science has traditionally focused on functional questions surrounding environment and economy. However, recent years have seen an increased recognition of the under-exploited potential for scientific data to provide detailed information relating to ritual and religious practice. This volume explores the diverse roles of plant, animal and other organic remains in ritual and religion, as foods, offerings, sensory or healing mediums, grave goods, and worked artefacts. It also provides insights into how archaeological science can shed light on the reconstruction of ritual processes and the framing of rituals. The 14 papers showcase current and new approaches in the investigation of bioarchaeological evidence for elucidating complex social issues and worldviews. The case studies are intentionally broad, encompassing a range of sub-disciplines of bioarchaeology, including archaeobotany, anthracology, palynology, micromorphology, geoarchaeology, zooarchaeology (including avian and worked bone studies), archaeomalacology and organic residue analysis. The temporal and geographical coverage is equally wide, extending across Europe from the Mediterranean and Aegean to the Baltic and North Atlantic regions and from the Mesolithic to the medieval period. The volume also includes a discursive paper by Prof. Brian Hayden, who suggests a different interpretative framework of archaeological contexts and rituals. Seller Inventory # AAJ9781785708282

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