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Shaman, Priest, Practice, Belief, Shaman, Priest, Practice, Belief, 0817320423, 0-8173-2042-3, 978-0-8173-2042-3, 9780817320423, , Archaeology of the American South: New Directions and Perspectives, Shaman, Priest, Practice, Belief, 0817392726, 0-8173-9272-6, 978-0-8173-9272-7, 9780817392727, , Archaeology of the American South: New Directions and Perspective

Shaman, Priest, Practice, Belief
Materials of Ritual and Religion in Eastern North America
Edited by Stephen B. Carmody and Casey R. Barrier

2019. 344 pp.
35 B&W figures / 3 maps / 6 tables
Price:  $69.95 s
E Book
2019. 344 pp.
35 B&W figures / 3 maps / 6 tables
Price:  $69.95 d

Archaeological case studies consider material evidence of religion and ritual in the pre-Columbian Eastern Woodlands

Archaeologists today are interpreting Native American religion and ritual in the distant past in more sophisticated ways, considering new understandings of the ways that Native Americans themselves experienced them. Shaman, Priest, Practice, Belief: Materials of Ritual and Religion in Eastern North America broadly considers Native American religion and ritual in eastern North America and focuses on practices that altered and used a vast array of material items as well as how physical spaces were shaped by religious practices.

Unbound to a single theoretical perspective of religion, contributors approach ritual and religion in diverse ways. Importantly, they focus on how people in the past practiced religion by altering and using a vast array of material items, from smoking pipes, ceremonial vessels, carved figurines, and iconographic images, to sacred bundles, hallucinogenic plants, revered animals, and ritual architecture. Contributors also show how physical spaces were shaped by religious practice, and how rock art, monuments, soils and special substances, and even land- and cityscapes were part of the active material worlds of religious agents.

Case studies, arranged chronologically, cover time periods ranging from the Paleoindian period (13,000–7900 BC) to the late Mississippian and into the protohistoric/contact periods. The geographical scope is much of the greater southeastern and southern Midwestern culture areas of the Eastern Woodlands, from the Central and Lower Mississippi River Valleys to the Ohio Hopewell region, and from the greater Ohio River Valley down through the Deep South and across to the Carolinas.

Sarah E. Baires / Melissa R. Baltus / Casey R. Barrier / James F. Bates / Sierra M. Bow / James A. Brown / Stephen B. Carmody / Meagan E. Dennison / Aaron Deter-Wolf / David H. Dye / Bretton T. Giles / Cameron Gokee / Kandace D. Hollenbach / Thomas A. Jennings / Megan C. Kassabaum / John E. Kelly / Ashley A. Peles / Tanya M. Peres / Charlotte D. Pevny / Connie M. Randall / Jan F. Simek / Ashley M. Smallwood / Renee B. Walker / Alice P. Wright

Stephen B. Carmody is assistant professor in the Department of Social Sciences at Troy University.

Casey R. Barrier is assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at Bryn Mawr College.
Shaman, Priest, Practice, Belief contributes important new insights into often overlooked aspects of past human behavior—those of religion and ritual. Using many different components of the archaeological record to investigate ancient religion and ritual, the contributors demonstrate that even relatively mundane cultural materials have the potential to illuminate the most ephemeral aspects of past human cultures.”
—Richard W. Jefferies, author of Holocene Hunter-Gatherers of the Lower Ohio River Valley
“The study of ritual and religion in archaeology is at a major turning point following the 'ontological turn' and materiality/New Materialisms. What used to be considered a realm of paleo-psychological epiphenomena that was archaeologically unknowable is now commonly viewed as structuring the archaeological record in significant ways. This book is the first to assemble an array of archaeological studies in the American Southeast that gives primacy to 'religion' as ongoing material practice.”
—Neill J. Wallis, coeditor of New Histories of Pre-Columbian Florida

“Though difficult to define, religion is a significant category of archaeological study that generally includes beliefs (inferred from symbolism found in design and decoration) and rituals (activities often evidenced by material culture). The editors’ goal is to demonstrate the strengths and challenges of various theoretical and methodological approaches so readers can assess their interpretive usefulness for culturally specific, cross-cultural, and cultural developmental research centering on how peoples lived, experienced, and practiced religion (broadly defined). Some contributors present new information on recently excavated sites, while others reinterpret well-known sites like Cahokia using new paradigmatic perspectives. Recommended.”

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