In this Book

summary
Caves have been used in various ways across human society but despite the persistence within popular culture of the iconic caveman, deep caves were never used primarily as habitation sites for early humans. Rather, in both ancient and contemporary contexts, caves have served primarily as ritual spaces. In Sacred Darkness, contributors use archaeological evidence as well as ethnographic studies of modern ritual practices to envision the cave as place of spiritual and ideological power and a potent venue for ritual practice. Covering the ritual use of caves in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, Mesoamerica, and the US Southwest and Eastern woodlands, this book brings together case studies by prominent scholars whose research spans from the Paleolithic period to the present day. These contributions demonstrate that cave sites are as fruitful as surface contexts in promoting the understanding of both ancient and modern religious beliefs and practices. This state-of-the-art survey of ritual cave use will be one of the most valuable resources for understanding the role of caves in studies of religion, sacred landscape, or cosmology and a must-read for any archaeologist interested in caves.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. p. 1
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. 2-7
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Figures
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Tables
  2. pp. xiii-xiv
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. xv-xvi
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  1. Note on Radiocarbon Dating
  2. pp. xvii-xx
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-12
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  1. Part I: Old World Ritual Cave Traditions
  2. pp. 13-14
  1. 1. Ritual Cave Use in European Paleolithic Caves
  2. pp. 15-26
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  1. 2. Constructed Caves: Transformations of the Underworld in Prehistoric Southeast Italy
  2. pp. 27-44
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  1. 3. Caves of the Living, Caves of the Dead: Experiences Above and Below Ground in Prehistoric Malta
  2. pp. 45-58
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  1. 4. Landscapes of Ritual, Identity, and Memory: Reconsidering Neolithic and Bronze Age Cave Use in Crete, Greece
  2. pp. 59-80
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  1. 5. Caves and the Funerary Landscape of Prehistoric Britain
  2. pp. 81-86
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  1. 6. The Subterranean Landscape of the Southern Levant during the Chalcolithic Period
  2. pp. 87-108
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  1. 7. The Chamber of Secrets: Grottoes, Caves, and the Underworld in Ancient Egyptian Religion
  2. pp. 109-124
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  1. 8. Caves as Sacred Spaces on the Tibetan Plateau
  2. pp. 125-134
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  1. 9. Differential Australian Cave and Rockshelter Use during the Pleistocene and Holocene
  2. pp. 135-148
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  1. Part II: New World Ritual Cave Traditions
  2. pp. 149-150
  1. 10. Caves as Sacred Space in Mesoamerica
  2. pp. 151-170
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  1. 11. Footsteps in the Dark Zone: Ritual Cave Use in Southwest Prehistory
  2. pp. 171-184
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  1. 12. Forty Years’ Pursuit of Human Prehistory in the World Underground
  2. pp. 185-194
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  1. 13. A New Overview of Prehistoric Cave Art in the Southeast
  2. pp. 195-210
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  1. 14. Reevaluating Cave Records: The Case for Ritual Caves in the Eastern United States
  2. pp. 211-224
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  1. 15. Ceremonial Use of Caves and Rockshelters in Ohio
  2. pp. 225-236
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  1. 16. The Ritual Use of Caves and Rockshelters in Ozark Prehistory
  2. pp. 237-246
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  1. Part III: Case Studies in Ritual Cave Use
  2. pp. 247-248
  1. 17. The Prehistoric Funerary Archaeology of the Niah Caves, Sarawak (Malaysian Borneo)
  2. pp. 249-262
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  1. 18. Recognizing Ritual in the Dark: Nakovana Cave and the End of the Adriatic Iron Age
  2. pp. 263-274
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  1. 19. Sacred Spaces, Sacred Species: Zooarchaeological Perspectives on Ritual Uses of Caves
  2. pp. 275-284
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  1. 20. Ritual Cave Use in the Bahamas
  2. pp. 285-294
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  1. Part IV: Ethnographic and Ethnohistoric Studies
  2. pp. 295-296
  1. 21. Caves in Ireland: Archaeology, Myth, and Folklore
  2. pp. 297-308
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  1. 22. Caves in Black and White: The Case of Zimbabwe
  2. pp. 309-316
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  1. 23. Where the Wild Things Are: An Exploration of Sacrality, Danger, and Violence in Confined Spaces
  2. pp. 317-330
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  1. 24. Ritual Uses of Caves in West Malaysia
  2. pp. 331-342
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  1. 25. A Quantitative Literature Survey Regarding the Uses and Perceptions of Caves among Nine Indigenous Andean Societies
  2. pp. 343-352
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  1. 26. Caves and Related Sites in the Great Plains of North America
  2. pp. 353-362
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  1. Part V: New Approaches
  2. pp. 363-364
  1. 27. Civilizing the Cave Man: Diachronic and Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Cave Ritual
  2. pp. 365-370
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  1. 28. Caves and Spatial Constraint: The Prehistoric Implications
  2. pp. 371-384
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  1. 29. Why Dark Zones Are Sacred: Turning to Behavioral and Cognitive Science for Answers
  2. pp. 385-396
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  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 397-398
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 399-410
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781607321781
Related ISBN
9781607321774
MARC Record
OCLC
834144291
Pages
520
Launched on MUSE
2013-06-30
Language
English
Open Access
No
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