New Insights at the Intersection of Historical Archaeology and the Archaeology of Religion

Author(s): Alexandra McCleary

Year: 2015


An increasing number of archaeologists are arguing against the separation of ritual and religion as separate fields of study, favoring pragmatic combinations of theoretical criteria to advance more holistic understandings of the theory and practice of religion. Advancements in the archaeological study of religion have been spearheaded by archaeologists of ancient and pre-historic societies. In this paper, I will outline the potential contributions of historical archaeology to anthropological understandings of religion. This includes the robust use of multiples lines of evidence, community oriented archaeological practice, and post-colonially informed analyses of agentive practices and the formation of shared identities. In addition to examining recent interactions between historical archaeology and the study of religion, this talk will suggest a groundwork for developing a historical archaeology of religion, and in turn, what the study of religion can contribute to historical archaeology from the perspective of identity practice and social theory.

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Cite this Record

New Insights at the Intersection of Historical Archaeology and the Archaeology of Religion. Alexandra McCleary. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396816)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;