Ritual Performances in and around Caves in Bronze Age Sardinia


This paper understands performance as an embodied, site-specific and temporary event. It consequently emphasizes the diversity of ritual performances identifiable archaeologically, not only in the context of different types of cave and rock-shelter, but also between these and other types of site in the landscape. In doing so, the paper evaluates the liminality of these places and ritual performances, which were – to varying degrees – separated spatially, temporally and symbolically from the rest of life. It also considers the extent to which traditional practices were transformed over the course of successive performances. Mortuary rituals in Bronze Age Sardinia are used as a case-study. Mortuary practices (and especially the treatment of human remains) identified at cave sites, megalithic tombs and rock-cut tombs are compared. Particular attention is focussed on a group of Bronze Age burial caves and rock-shelters excavated and studied recently by the authors in the territory of Seulo in central Sardinia.

Cite this Record

Ritual Performances in and around Caves in Bronze Age Sardinia. Robin Skeates, Jessica Beckett, Cezary Namirski. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443866)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -10.151; min lat: 29.459 ; max long: 42.847; max lat: 47.99 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 18832