The Vital Force of Underground Places and Ritual Production in Caves and Rockshelters

Author(s): Agni Prijatelj

Year: 2018


Caves are regularly portrayed as a blank stage upon which the social – including ritual activity – is enacted. This paper, however, takes the opposite approach: in discussing a number of selected Antique and Medieval ritual cave sites in Slovenia that are associated with Roman, Christian and Slavic religious systems, it demonstrates the vibrant, hybrid, participant and continuously-changing nature of underground places in which multiple symmetric and fluid connections exist between people, animals, plants, materials, things, places and landscapes. Most notably, these throbbing networks of various human and non-human agencies cooperate or are in conflict, and enhance or confound each other; yet, at the same time, also act as a whole with a vital force that is distinct from the sum of each materiality considered alone, and which can thus be understood not only as a distinct place-power, but also as the core essence of any ritual performance.

Cite this Record

The Vital Force of Underground Places and Ritual Production in Caves and Rockshelters. Agni Prijatelj. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443868)

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Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 21041