An Archaeology of Religion

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University Press of America, 2012 - Religion - 336 pages
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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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Contents

Ch01 Introduction and Definitions
1
Ch02 Grave Issues
30
Ch03 Shamanism
44
Ch04 Neolithic
64
Ch05 Gods and Temples
89
Ch06 Archaeology of Hinduism
159
Ch07 Archaeology of Buddhism
168
Ch08 Archaeology of Judaism
182
Ch09 Archaeology of Christianity
211
Ch10 Archaeology of Islam
248
Ch11 Archaeology of Pilgrimage
260
Ch12 Cults RegionalCults and World Religions
272
References
287
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About the author (2012)

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.

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