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Dynamic Spirituality on Minoan Peak Sanctuaries

  • Alan A. D. Peatfield
  • Christine Morris
Part of the One World Archaeology book series (WORLDARCH)

Abstract

Previous work by the authors has argued for a shamanic element to Cretan Bronze Age religion. Late Minoan gold rings with engraved ritual scenes show clear affinities with imagery expressive of ecstatic religious experience in other ancient and traditional societies. We interpret the clay figurines from Minoan peak sanctuaries as similarly expressive of the participants’ spiritual experience, whereby the body was a medium to access altered states. The authors’ excavation of the western Cretan peak sanctuary of Atsipadhes Korakies is presented as a case study. Our work has been firmly located within current archaeological interest in the body, and in experiential and experimental methodologies. We also argue for the importance of a fully sensory archaeology, which engages with the dynamics of ritual and spirituality on these mountain shrines. In this chapter we explicitly address the issues raised by our own encounters and experimentation with shamanic practices in a Cretan context, particularly the apparent tension between objective and subjective analysis, and how that may be resolved.

Keywords

Altered State Spiritual Experience Lower Terrace Ritual Action Open Gesture 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ArchaeologyUniversity College DublinDublin 4Ireland
  2. 2.Department of Classics, School of Histories and HumanitiesTrinity College DublinDublin 2Ireland

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