© 2019

Between Worlds

Understanding Ritual Cave Use in Later Prehistory

  • Lindsey Büster
  • Eugène Warmenbol
  • Dimitrij Mlekuž

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Theoretical Frameworks for Caves as Dynamic Spaces

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 7-7
    2. Agni Prijatelj, Robin Skeates
      Pages 9-28
    3. Rick Peterson
      Pages 29-44
    4. Dimitrij Mlekuž
      Pages 45-66
    5. Letizia Silvestri, Katia Francesca Achino, Micaela Angle, Maurizio Gatta, Mario Federico Rolfo
      Pages 87-112
    6. Nektarios-Petros Yioutsos
      Pages 113-135
  3. Innovative Digital Capture Techniques in Cave Archaeology

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 163-163
    2. Albane Burens, Laurent Carozza, Raphaelle Bourrillon, Stephane Petrognani, Pierre Grussenmeyer, Samuel Guillemin et al.
      Pages 165-198
    3. Lindsey Büster, Ian Armit, Adrian Evans, Tom Sparrow, Rachael Kershaw, Andrew S. Wilson
      Pages 199-220
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 265-270

About this book


The recent resurgence of academic interest in caves has demonstrated the central roles they played as arenas for ritual, ceremony and performance, and their importance within later prehistoric cosmologies. Caves represent very particular types of archaeological site and require novel approaches to their recording, interpretation and presentation. This is especially true in understanding the ritual use of caves, when the less tangible aspects of these environments would have been fundamental to the practices taking place within them. 

Between Worlds explores new theoretical frameworks that examine the agency of these enduring 'natural' places and the complex interplay between environment, taphonomy and human activity. It also showcases the application of innovative technologies, such as 3D laser-scanning and acoustic modelling, which provide new and exciting ways of capturing the experiential qualities of these enigmatic sites. Together, these developments offer more nuanced understandings of the role of caves in prehistoric ritual, and allow for more effective communication, management and presentation of cave archaeology to a wide range of audiences.


Digital capture and presentation technologies aspects of cave use and ritual activity in situ preservation of fragile cave assemblages theoretical considerations for subterranean environments new digital methods of interpreting cave archaeology

Editors and affiliations

  • Lindsey Büster
    • 1
  • Eugène Warmenbol
    • 2
  • Dimitrij Mlekuž
    • 3
  1. 1.School of History, Classics and Archaeology, University of EdinburghEdinburghUK
  2. 2.Centre de Recherches en Archéologie et Patrimoine, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)BruxellesBelgium
  3. 3.Department of Archaeology, Faculty of ArtsUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia

About the editors

Dr Lindsey Büster is a Teaching Fellow in European Iron Age Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh. With a PhD in later prehistoric roundhouses (2013), her research interests include ritual and domestic life in later prehistoric Europe, and complex later prehistoric funerary practices, which she is exploring through excavations at the Covesea Caves in north-east Scotland.

Professor Eugène Warmenbol is Professor of North-Western European Archaeology at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. He is a specialist of the Bronze and Iron Ages, with interests in cave occupation and the dynamics of long-distance exchanges. Formerly, he spent time excavating in Egypt and Syria, and has organised several exhibitions on Ancient Egypt. 

Dr Dimitrij Mlekuž is a Research Associate and Lecturer at the University of Ljubljana and is Heritage Officer at the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia. He completed a PhD on the Neolithic landscapes of East Adriatic, and his main interests are landscape archaeology, remote sensing and the Neolithic societies of south-eastern Europe.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Between Worlds
  • Book Subtitle Understanding Ritual Cave Use in Later Prehistory
  • Editors Lindsey Büster
    Eugène Warmenbol
    Dimitrij Mlekuž
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences Social Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-99021-7
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-99022-4
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XI, 270
  • Number of Illustrations 17 b/w illustrations, 85 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Archaeology
  • Buy this book on publisher's site