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date: 18 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article suggests that the archaeology of ritual and religions in Africa is complex and variably understood, but has enormous research potential. The discussion focuses on ritual and religion in later periods of African prehistory and history, noting that the database of earliest evidence for symbolic and ritual behaviours may continue to grow, along with understanding of them. Future foci for archaeological investigation could include charting trajectories of religious change, fusion, and syncretism in relation to past material culture. A more anthropologically informed approach to the archaeological investigation of indigenous sub-Saharan African rituals and religions is emerging. Similar possibilities exist for the archaeology of world religions where material culture could be treated less passively and descriptively and more as the outcome of active processes and agents.

Keywords: sub-Saharan African rituals, ritual behaviours, religious change, material culture, African prehistory

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