AN ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE COSMOS RETHINKING AGENCY AND RELIGION IN ANCIENT AMERICA

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An Archaeology Of The Cosmos

Author : Timothy R. Pauketat
ISBN : 9780415521284
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 42.21 MB
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An Archaeology of the Cosmos seeks answers to two fundamental questions of humanity and human history. The first question concerns that which some use as a defining element of humanity: religious beliefs. Why do so many people believe in supreme beings and holy spirits? The second question concerns changes in those beliefs. What causes beliefs to change? Using archaeological evidence gathered from ancient America, especially case material from the Great Plains and the pre-Columbian American Indian city of Cahokia, Timothy Pauketat explores the logical consequences of these two fundamental questions. Religious beliefs are not more resilient than other aspects of culture and society, and people are not the only causes of historical change. An Archaeology of the Cosmos examines the intimate association of agency and religion by studying how relationships between people, places, and things were bundled together and positioned in ways that constituted the fields of human experience. This rethinking theories of agency and religion provides readers with challenging and thought provoking conclusions that will lead them to reassess the way they approach the past.
Category: Social Science

Religion And Politics In The Ancient Americas

Author : Sarah B. Barber
ISBN : 9781317440826
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 42.23 MB
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This exciting collection explores the interplay of religion and politics in the precolumbian Americas. Each thought-provoking contribution positions religion as a primary factor influencing political innovations in this period, reinterpreting major changes through an examination of how religion both facilitated and constrained transformations in political organization and status relations. Offering unparalleled geographic and temporal coverage of this subject, Religion and Politics in the Ancient Americas spans the entire precolumbian period, from Preceramic Peru to the Contact period in eastern North America, with case studies from North, Middle, and South America. Religion and Politics in the Ancient Americas considers the ways in which religion itself generated political innovation and thus enabled political centralization to occur. It moves beyond a "Great Tradition" focus on elite religion to understand how local political authority was negotiated, contested, bolstered, and undermined within diverse constituencies, demonstrating how religion has transformed non-Western societies. As well as offering readers fresh perspectives on specific archaeological cases, this book breaks new ground in the archaeological examination of religion and society.
Category: Social Science

Religion And Innovation

Author : Donald A. Yerxa
ISBN : 9781472591005
Genre : Religion
File Size : 76.89 MB
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It is often assumed that religion is the backward-looking servant of tradition and the status quo, utterly opposed to the new. This refrain in so much of recent polemical writing has permeated the public mind and can even be found in academic publications. But recent scholarship increasingly shows that this view is a gross simplification - that, in fact, religious beliefs and practices have contributed to significant changes in human affairs: political and legal, social and artistic, scientific and commercial. This is certainly not to say that religion is always innovative. But the relationship between religion and innovation is much more complex and instructive than is generally assumed. Religion and Innovation includes contributions from leading historians, archaeologists, and social scientists, who offer findings about the relationship between religion and innovation. The essays collected in this volume range from discussions of the transformative power of religion in early societies; to re-examinations of our notions of naturalism, secularization, and progress; to explorations of cutting-edge contemporary issues. Combining scholarly rigor with clear, accessible writing, Religion and Innovation: Antagonists or Partners? is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of religion and the ongoing debates about its role in the modern world and into the future.
Category: Religion

Religion In The Prehispanic Southwest

Author : Christine S. VanPool
ISBN : 9780759113954
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 52.87 MB
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Religion mattered to the prehistoricSouthwestern people, just as it matters to their descendents today. Examining the role of religion can help to explain architecture, pottery, agriculture, even commerce. But archaeologists have only recently developed the theoretical and methodological tools with which to study this topic. Religion in the Prehispanic Southwest marks the first book-length study of prehistoric religion in the region. Drawing on a rich array of empirical approaches, the contributors show the importance of understanding beliefs and ritual for a range of time periods and southwestern societies. For professional and avocational archaeologists, for religion scholars and students, Religion in the Prehispanic Southwest represents an important contribution.
Category: Social Science

Recognizing People In The Prehistoric Southwest

Author : Jill E. Neitzel
ISBN : 160781529X
Genre : History
File Size : 50.42 MB
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"This manuscript presents an important view of prehistoric Southwestern people to the general public, students, and professional archaeologists. Centered on the time period AD 900 to 1450 and the Ancestral Puebloan, Mogollon, and Hohokam culture areas, the work assumes most people are interested in knowing how these early Southwesterners looked, dressed, and talked. Archaeologists rarely address these topics, as they are more interested in broad behavioral patterns as reflected in the material record that reveals changes through time. However, Neitzel has tackled this topic with chapters devoted to clothing, ornaments, hair, facial decorations, speech, and physical appearance, and to how archaeologists deduce these things"--Provided by publisher.
Category: History

The Archaeology Of Wak As

Author : Tamara L. Bray
ISBN : 9781607323181
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 26.1 MB
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In this edited volume, Andean wak'as—idols, statues, sacred places, images, and oratories—play a central role in understanding Andean social philosophies, cosmologies, materialities, temporalities, and constructions of personhood. Top Andean scholars from a variety of disciplines cross regional, theoretical, and material boundaries in their chapters, offering innovative methods and theoretical frameworks for interpreting the cultural particulars of Andean ontologies and notions of the sacred. Wak'as were understood as agentive, nonhuman persons within many Andean communities and were fundamental to conceptions of place, alimentation, fertility, identity, and memory and the political construction of ecology and life cycles. The ethnohistoric record indicates that wak'as were thought to speak, hear, and communicate, both among themselves and with humans. In their capacity as nonhuman persons, they shared familial relations with members of the community, for instance, young women were wed to local wak'as made of stone and wak'as had sons and daughters who were identified as the mummified remains of the community's revered ancestors. Integrating linguistic, ethnohistoric, ethnographic, and archaeological data, The Archaeology of Wak'as advances our understanding of the nature and culture of wak'as and contributes to the larger theoretical discussions on the meaning and role of–"the sacred” in ancient contexts.
Category: Social Science

Religious Transformation In The Late Pre Hispanic Pueblo World

Author : Donna M Glowacki
ISBN : 9780816503988
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 89.62 MB
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The mid-thirteenth century AD marks the beginning of tremendous social change among Ancestral Pueblo peoples of the northern US Southwest that foreshadow the emergence of the modern Pueblo world. Regional depopulations, long-distance migrations, and widespread resettlement into large plaza-oriented villages forever altered community life. Archaeologists have tended to view these historical events as adaptive responses to climatic, environmental, and economic conditions. Recently, however, more attention is being given to the central role of religion during these transformative periods, and to how archaeological remains embody the complex social practices through which Ancestral PuebloÊ understandings of sacred concepts were expressed and transformed. The contributors to this volume employ a wide range of archaeological evidence to examine the origin and development of religious ideologies and the ways they shaped Pueblo societies across the Southwest in the centuries prior to European contact. With its fresh theoretical approach, it contributes to a better understanding of both the Pueblo past and the anthropological study of religion in ancient contexts This volume will be of interest to both regional specialists and to scholars who work with the broader dimensions of religion and ritual in the human experience.Ê
Category: Social Science

Cahokia

Author : Timothy R. Pauketat
ISBN : 9781101105177
Genre : History
File Size : 80.92 MB
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The fascinating story of a lost city and an unprecedented American civilization While Mayan and Aztec civilizations are widely known and documented, relatively few people are familiar with the largest prehistoric Native American city north of Mexico-a site that expert Timothy Pauketat brings vividly to life in this groundbreaking book. Almost a thousand years ago, a city flourished along the Mississippi River near what is now St. Louis. Built around a sprawling central plaza and known as Cahokia, the site has drawn the attention of generations of archaeologists, whose work produced evidence of complex celestial timepieces, feasts big enough to feed thousands, and disturbing signs of human sacrifice. Drawing on these fascinating finds, Cahokia presents a lively and astonishing narrative of prehistoric America.
Category: History

Black Elk Speaks

Author : John G. Neihardt
ISBN : 9781438425405
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 58.70 MB
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The famous story of the Lakota healer and visionary, Nicholas Black Elk.
Category: Biography & Autobiography