Why “Archaeology and Religion”?

What we today call “religion” obviously has a history that pre-dates societies that had writing and which left us with religious texts.  The archaeological record consists of material objects that may clearly indicate (or merely suggest) that those who created the objects did so under the influence of supernatural beliefs or in the course of religious rituals.  This record, to a limited extent, allows us to reconstruct the supernatural beliefs and religious activities of pre-literate societies.  Because the majority of human history consists of such societies, the genealogy of religion requires a close examination of this record.  Although cave paintings, rock art, and figurines are most often linked to the supernatural, archaeologists have uncovered a much larger material record that speaks to ritual and religion.  All posts in this Category explore, in one way or another, the archaeology of the supernatural and religion.

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