What bones tell us about religion

Deschler-Erb Sabine, . (2008) What bones tell us about religion. In: Bridging the Gaps: Sources, Methodology and Approaches to Religion in Europe : Cliohres Network, Thematic Work Group 3: Religion and Philosophy in Society. Pisa, pp. 1-8.

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The killing of animals was long viewed as a special act which had to be conducted ritualistically. In Classical Antiquity, as in Protohistoric cultures, the eating of meat was often associated with a sacrifice and festivities in honour of the gods; and of course some groups renounced it altogether for religious or philosophical reasons. However, research into such phenomena is hindered by the fact that the information provided by written sources tends to be fragmentary, indirect or even downright wrong. For this reason, another source should be considered, one which can offer more direct information about the rituals performed at a particular site - namely the bones from archaeological excavations. Faunal analyses are still quite rare, and therefore no general conclusions can be drawn for the moment. Nevertheless, the study of bones is important, for they not only indicate the existence of rituals and ideas which went on for millennia, they can also reveal changes that took place. In some aspects they are more reliable than written sources.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Integrative Biologie > Integrative Prähistorische und Naturwissenschaftliche Archäologie (IPNA)
UniBasel Contributors:Deschler-Erb, Sabine
Item Type:Book Section, refereed
Book Section Subtype:Book Chapter
Publisher:Cliohres Network
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Book item
Last Modified:22 Mar 2012 14:30
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 14:13

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