Chris Scarre

in The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Ritual and Religion

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199232444
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology


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‘Monument’ today carries a double meaning, evoking size and durability on the one hand, and commemoration or memorial on the other. Monuments are highly diverse in their form, character, and age. They include prehistoric standing stones and earthen enclosures, massive obelisks and pyramids, and memorials to the dead of recent centuries, including to those killed by conflict or natural disaster. This article explores the significance of monuments in ritual and religion from the perspective of prehistoric and early historic societies, illustrated by examples from North and South America, Africa, and Europe.

Keywords: ritual; religion; prehistoric society; early historic society; North American monuments; South American monuments; African monuments; European monuments

Article.  6000 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Historical Archaeology

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