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Ancestors in Cosmologies

Part of the Cosmology in the New World project

Author(s): Linda Cordell ; David Freidel ; Kelley Hays-Gilpin ; Tim Pauketat ; Christine VanPool

Year: 2010

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This article discusses the role of ancestors in New World cosmologies. Specifically, it gives examples of how ancestors mediate cosmologies through sensory experiences, things, and places. In Eastern North America, ancestors were engaged in posts, bundles, stars, mounds, and temples. In the American Southwest, “conceptual packages” of wind, water, and breath represented the cosmological force shared by humans, ancestors, and places. Mesoamericans transformed the dead into ancestors by preparing their remains to act as conduits that enabled their spirits to live among the living.

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Ancestors in Cosmologies. Linda Cordell, David Freidel, Kelley Hays-Gilpin, Tim Pauketat, Christine VanPool. 2010 ( tDAR id: 4789) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8JQ0Z25


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  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
cordell-et-al-2010.pdf 71.38kb Oct 16, 2010 10:43:14 AM Public
Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America