The subject of ‘magic’ has long been considered peripheral and sensationalist, the word itself having become something of an academic taboo. However, beliefs in magic and the rituals that surround them are extensive – as are their material manifestations – and to avoid them is to ignore a prevalent aspect of cultures worldwide, from prehistory to the present day. The Materiality of Magic addresses the value of the material record as a resource in investigations into magic, ritual practices, and popular beliefs. The chronological and geographic focuses of the papers presented here vary from prehistory to the present-day, including numinous interpretations of fossils and ritual deposits in Bronze Age Europe; apotropaic devices in Roman and Medieval Britain; the evolution of superstitions and ritual customs – from the ‘voodoo doll’ of Europe and Africa to a Scottish ‘wishing-tree’; and an exploration of spatiality in West African healing practices. The objectives of this collection of nine papers are twofold. First, to provide a platform from which to showcase innovative research and theoretical approaches in a subject which has largely been neglected within archaeology and related disciplines, and, secondly, to redress this neglect. The papers were presented at the 2012 Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG) conference in Liverpool.
Author: Eleanor Harrison-Buck
Publisher: University Press of Colorado
Release Date: 2018-08-20
Genre: Social Science
Relational Identities and Other-than-Human Agency in Archaeology explores the benefits and consequences of archaeological theorizing on and interpretation of the social agency of nonhumans as relational beings capable of producing change in the world. The volume cross-examines traditional understanding of agency and personhood, presenting a globally diverse set of case studies that cover a range of cultural, geographical, and historical contexts. Agency (the ability to act) and personhood (the reciprocal qualities of relational beings) have traditionally been strictly assigned to humans. In case studies from Ghana to Australia to the British Isles and Mesoamerica, contributors to this volume demonstrate that objects, animals, locations, and other nonhuman actors also potentially share this ontological status and are capable of instigating events and enacting change. This kind of other-than-human agency is not a one-way transaction of cause to effect but requires an appropriate form of reciprocal engagement indicative of relational personhood, which in these cases, left material traces detectable in the archaeological record. Modern dualist ontologies separating objects from subjects and the animate from the inanimate obscure our understanding of the roles that other-than-human agents played in past societies. Relational Identities and Other-than-Human Agency in Archaeology challenges this essentialist binary perspective. Contributors in this volume show that intersubjective (inherently social) ways of being are a fundamental and indispensable condition of all personhood and move the debate in posthumanist scholarship beyond the polarizing dichotomies of relational versus bounded types of persons. In this way, the book makes a significant contribution to theory and interpretation of personhood and other-than-human agency in archaeology. Contributors: Susan M. Alt, Joanna Brück, Kaitlyn Chandler, Erica Hill, Meghan C. L. Howey, Andrew Meirion Jones, Matthew Looper, Ian J. McNiven, Wendi Field Murray, Timothy R. Pauketat, Ann B. Stahl, Maria Nieves Zedeño
Author: Sarah Bay-Cheng
Publisher: Amsterdam University Press
Release Date: 2010
Genre: Performing Arts
This insightful book explores the relationship between theater and digital culture. The authors show that the marriage of traditional performance with new technologies leads to an upheaval of the implicit “live” quality of theatre by introducing media interfaces and Internet protocols, all the while blurring the barriers between theater-makers and their audience.
Author: Victor Buchli
Publisher: A&C Black
Release Date: 2013-10-24
Ever since anthropology has existed as a discipline, anthropologists have thought about architectural forms. This book provides the first overview of how anthropologists have studied architecture and the extraordinarily rich thought and data this has produced. With a focus on domestic space - that intimate context in which anthropologists traditionally work - the book explains how anthropologists think about public and private boundaries, gender, sex and the body, the materiality of architectural forms and materials, building technologies and architectural representations. Each chapter uses a broad range of case studies from around the world to examine from within anthropology what architecture 'does' - how it makes people and shapes, sustains and unravels social relations. An Anthropology of Architecture is key reading for students of anthropology, material culture, geography, sociology, architectural theory, design and city planning.
Author: James W. Watts
Publisher: Equinox Publishing (Indonesia)
Release Date: 2015-07-07
Images of books appear in art, advertising and commercial logos to symbolize learning, knowledge and wisdom. In religious and secular rituals around the globe, people carry, show, wave, touch and kiss books and other texts, as well as read them. Such images and rituals utilize the iconic dimension of texts. This volume is the first comprehensive survey of iconic books and texts. It traces their development and influence from ancient to modern times and compares their roles in multiple cultures and religious traditions. The twenty-two essays presented here are original, cutting-edge contributions to this new academic field, and will appeal to students and scholars across the study of religions, literature, book history, archives and libraries.
Author: Robert H. Bates
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 1998
Genre: Political Science
How can social scientists draw broad, applicable principles of political order from specific historical examples? In this volume, five senior scholars offer a methodological response to this question. The result is both a methodological manifesto and an applied handbook.
This book traces the history of ritual landscapes in the British Isles, and the transition from religious practice to recreation, by focusing on a highly understudied exemplar: the coin-tree. These are trees imbued with magical properties into which coins have been ritually embedded. This is a contemporary custom which can be traced back in the literature to the 1700s, when it was practiced for folk-medical and dedicatory purposes. Today, the custom is widespread, with over 200 coin-trees distributed across the British Isles, but is more akin to the casual deposition of coins in a wishing-well: coins are deposited in the tree in exchange for wishes, good luck, or future fortune. Ceri Houlbrook contributes to the debate on the historic relationships between religion, ritual, and popular magic in British contexts from 1700 to the present.
Author: Christopher A. Faraone
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Amulets, Greek
Greek magical texts sometimes contain peculiar triangular formations created by repeating the same word over and over again in the same column, but leaving off one letter at the beginning or end (or both). Interpretations shifted during the twentieth century: did the words inscribed in these shapes represent the names of diseases or evil demons which were forced to disappear as each letter of the name does? Or were they the work of Roman period scribes representing very different notions? This new study uses a masterly survey of the known examples of these texts to argue for a radical revision of recent views.
Author: Katherine Leonard
Publisher: Archaeopress Archaeology
Release Date: 2015-12-16
This text develops a new perspective on Late Bronze Age (LBA) Ireland by identifying and analysing patterns of ritual practice in the archaeological record. The bookends of this study are the introduction of the bronze slashing sword to Ireland at around 1200 BC and the introduction and proliferation of iron technology beginning around 600 BC. Therefore, it is societal change related to new technology which defines the period discussed as the Irish Late Bronze Age (LBA) herein. Ritual practices find expression in a range of contexts which can be studied separately. However, they require an overarching, integrated ritual system to contextualise and attempt to understand their broader purpose. Similar rituals were consistently enacted in similar locations across the island of Ireland in the LBA. This indicates shared understanding of the way to enact certain rituals as well as shared understanding of what these practices would achieve.
She is the daughter of his enemy...and the keeper of his heart. Richard de Claiborne, the dark earl of Dunsmore, serves King Edward Plantagenet well. Sworn to obey his king's every order, he nevertheless chafes at the command he wed the daughter of his enemy--a man who slew his father in cold blood. But King Edward wants peace in his lands, and he will stop at nothing to get it. If he has to order his most powerful Marcher lord to marry a Welsh princess, he considers it a small price to pay. Princess Gwenllian is a political pawn. When she's forced to marry the evil Black Hawk de Claiborne, she quakes at his fierceness and brutality. But she does her duty to her father and her people, knowing she will never surrender to her enemy. In the halls of Black Hawk's great keep, Gwen glimpses a man who can be tender and passionate-and who teaches her about breathtaking sensuality and a desire so great it threatens every vow she ever made to keep her heart locked tight. As war once more looms between Wales and England, Gwen realizes a terrible truth: she's in love with the enemy. When long-buried secrets threaten to destroy her fragile happiness, she must make a terrible choice-or watch the man she loves sacrifice his life to save hers...
Author: Bob Simpson
Publisher: Berg Publishers
Release Date: 1998-08-01
Genre: Family & Relationships
Recent decades have seen spectacular increases in the levels of divorce and separation across the Western world. This important development is having a radical impact on the conduct and nature of family relationships. This book offers an original investigation of these critical transformations through an ethnographic analysis of post-divorce family life in Britain and provides insightful answers to vexing questions, such as: - What cultural values and ideologies motivate and shape concerns over relationships when marriage ends? - Which relationships continue and why? - What cultural values underpin the financial transactions that take place or (more commonly) fail to take place after divorce? Drawing on extensive interviews with those most affected by divorce, the author argues that the positive sentiments traditionally associated with the notion of kinship are wholly inadequate when it comes to understanding divorce, but that kinship can provide an illuminating window through which to consider the breakdown of marital relations. This book represents a significant contribution to current debates over the changing form and expression of relationships in Western society in the late twentieth century.