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date: 23 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Though currently relatively under-researched, the archaeology of hunter-gatherer religion and ritual offers significant promise for the improvement of our understanding of prehistoric social and cultural life. Analysing prehistoric religion requires explicit knowledge of religion as a general phenomenon, while deciphering the archaeology of hunter-gatherer religions necessitates familiarity with the range of variation of ritual practices and beliefs among ethnographic hunter-gatherers. The well documented diversity of Native Californian hunter-gatherer religions is used for these purposes, providing a model for the kinds of variation in rituals that may have existed prehistorically. Current research topics in the archaeology of hunter-gatherer religion are also reviewed.

Keywords: hunter-gatherers, ritual, archaeology, ethnography, Native California, rock art

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