Over, Under, Sideways, Down: Cave Shrines and Settlement in Southwest Prehistory
Author(s): Scott Nicolay
Although evidence for the use of caves and earth openings as shrines in the North American Southwest begins in the Pleistocene, this practice intensified greatly after the development of agriculture. Many of the region’s major shrines appear divisible into three categories: controlled shrines, to which access was restricted by surface architecture; contested shrines, which were located equidistant between two or more surface sites; and remote sites, which may have marked cultural boundaries. Cave shrines may have defined both center and periphery of settlements. If so, this practice represents another parallel between paradigms of cave ritual in the Southwest and Mesoamerica.
Cite this Record
Over, Under, Sideways, Down: Cave Shrines and Settlement in Southwest Prehistory. Scott Nicolay. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429381)
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min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;
Abstract Id(s): 17390