Ritual and Domestic Life in Prehistoric Europe

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Overview

This fascinating study explores how our prehistoric ancestors developed rituals from everyday life and domestic activities. Richard Bradley contends that for much of the prehistoric period, ritual was not a distinct sphere of activity. Rather it was the way in which different features of the domestic world were played out until they took on qualities of theatrical performance.

With extensive illustrated case-studies,
this book examines farming, craft production and the occupation of houses, all of which were ritualized in prehistoric Europe. Successive chapters discuss the ways in which ritual has been studied, drawing on a series of examples that range from Greece to Norway and from Romania to Portugal. They consider practices that extend from the Mesolithic period to the Early Middle Ages and discuss the ways in which ritual and domestic life were intertwined.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415345514
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 2/28/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.18 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

Professor of Archaeology at Reading University.

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Table of Contents

1 Death and the harvest : how archaeologists have distinguished between ritual and domestic life 3
2 The consecration of the house : how domestic buildings took on special qualities 41
3 A duty of care : how everyday activities assumed a special significance 81
4 A house with a pool : rituals and the materials of farming 123
5 Multiplication and division : the problem of utilitarian bronze hoards 145
6 The rites of separation : domestic rituals and public ritual in the Iron Age 165
7 What remains to be seen : some implications of the argument 191
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