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date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses the archaeology of religion and ritual in the Mesolithic, covering rites of passage, sacred places, shamanism, and animals. There have been huge advances in understandings of Mesolithic ritual and religion in recent years, not least because these have finally been accepted as legitimate topics for debate. However, this is still a young field and much remains to be interrogated. The cemeteries still tend to dominate discussions of ritual and religion within these new approaches, just as they dominated approaches to understanding Mesolithic society in the 1970s and 1980s. Other sources need to be explored; the disarticulated remains that are frequent finds on Mesolithic sites potentially suggest very different ritual practices and understandings of the body from those the cemeteries provide.

Keywords: religion, ritual, rites of passage, sacred places, shamanism, animals, cemeteries, archaeology

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