Books  Natural History  Archaeology 

The Ritual Killing and Burial of Animals: European Perspectives

By: Aleksander Pluskowski(Author)

224 pages, colour & b/w illustrations

Oxbow Books

Hardback | Nov 2011 | #196497 | ISBN-13: 9781842174449
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £47.99 $63/€54 approx

About this book

The killing and burial of animals in ritualistic contexts is encountered across Europe from Prehistory through to the historical period. The Ritual Killing and Burial of Animals presents the state of research across Europe to illustrate how comparable interpretative frameworks are used by archaeologists working with both prehistoric and historical societies. Key questions include: How easy is it to identify ritually killed animals in the archaeological record? Can we tell if an animal has been killed specifically for such a purpose? Is it possible to reconstruct the rites associated with their deposition? What insights can be gained about the religious paradigms and ritual systems of the societies engaged in animal sacrifice? Together, the 16 papers represent a snapshot of the current state of research on this fundamental, recurring and spectacular aspect of human societies in the past.

"[Readers] should definitely examine some of the papers, both for the strange and varied relationships between dead humans and dead animals and for Broderick's fascinating example of how the meanings of archaeological evidence can be thrown into question by a change of interpretive framework."
- Jay Rath, Fortean Times (292/September 2012)


Section 1: Interpretative Frameworks
1. Introduction: The Ritual Killing and Burial of Animals in the Past (Aleksander Pluskowski)
2. Animal 'Ritual' Killing: From Remains to Meanings (James Morris)
3. Ritualisation (or The Four Fully Articulated Ungulates of the Apocalypse) (Lee Broderick)

Section 2: Central and Eastern Europe
4. Nourishment for the Soul – Nourishment for the Body. Animal Remains in Early Medieval Pomeranian Cemeteries (Andrzej Kuczkowski and Kamil Kajowski)
5. Spatial Aspects of Globular Amphora Culture Funeral Rites with Animal Deposits in Poland (Radoslaw Sczodrowski)
6. Horse Burials as Public Ritual: Lithuanian Perspectives (Mindaugas Bertašius)
7. Protohistoric Animal Deposits in the Alps. Considerations Regarding a Dog, a Pig and Four Human Neonates from the Rural Settlement of Gamsen (Valais, Switzerland) (Nicole Reynaud Savioz)
8. Distinct From the Everyday and Beyond Counting Calories: Animal Bones from “Ritual Spaces” in Late Neolithic Settlements at Lake Constance and in Upper Suebia (Karlheinz Steppan)
9. Late Antique and Early Medieval Animal Burials in Italy (Frank Salvadori)
10. Animal Deposits in the Late Copper Age Settlement of Balatonoszöd–Temetoi dulo, Hungary (Tünde Horváth)

Section 3: Western Europe
11. Dealing with Deposits in the Dutch River Area: Animals in Settlement Rituals in the Roman Period (Maaike Groot)
12. Sheep Foundation Burials in Roman Winchester (Mark Maltby)
13. Early Anglo-Saxon Horse Culture and Funerary Ritual (c.AD 450-650); Active Mythology in a European Context (Chris Fern)
14. Evolving Traditions: Horse Slaughter as Part of Viking Burial Customs in Iceland (Runar Leifsson)
15. Sacred Cows or Old Beasts? A Taphonomic Approach to Studying Ritual Killing with an Example from Iron Age Uppåkra, Sweden (Ola Magnell)
16. Flesh on the Bones: Animal Bodies in Atlantic Roundhouses (Jacqui Mulville, Richard Madgwick, Adrienne Powell and Mike Parker Pearson)
17. “Stone Dead”: Dogs in Medieval Sacral Space (László Bartosiewicz)

Write a review

There are currently no reviews for this book. Be the first to review this book!

Bestsellers in this subject

People and Wildlife in Northern North America

NHBS Price: £51.50 $67/€58 approx

Paleopathology of Children

NHBS Price: £104.00 $136/€118 approx

Britain Begins

NHBS Price: £24.99 $33/€28 approx

Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice

NHBS Price: £31.99 $42/€36 approx

Trees and Woodlands of South India

NHBS Price: £78.95 $103/€89 approx

VAT: GB 407 4846 44
NHBS Ltd is registered in England and Wales: 1875194