Rituale - Identitätsstiftende Handlungskomplexe
2. Tagung des Zentrums Archäologie und Altertumswissenschaften an der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2./3. November 2009
Reihe: Denkschriften der philosophisch-historischen Klasse, Band: 437
2012, 247 Seiten mit 48 Tafeln, 29,7x21 cm, broschiert
Since 2006, Ancient World studies at the Austrian Academy of Sciences are united in the “Zentrum Archäologie und Altertumswissenschaften (ZAA)”, organising workshops and symposia, in which scholars of all partaking institutions reunite to discuss aspects of their research projects. The topic of the second Symposium, “Rituals – Providers of Cultural Identity” (2 to 3 November 2009) was chosen in order to show how, in the course of several millennia, various societies defined their cultural identity through ritual behaviour.
The chapters of this book represent the broad spectrum of research topics included in the ZAA. Geographically, they span from Central Europe through the Mediterranean to Egypt; chronologically, from the Early Bronze Age through the end of antiquity. Rituals are discussed as documented in literature, inscriptions, coins, pictures and material culture. Apart from in-depth studies of specific rituals, contributions deal with pictorial representations of rituals in preliterate societies as well as the process of recording previously unwritten laws with a background of ritualistic codification. Several articles cover aspects of funeral cult, where rituals help to adjust to the loss of members of the family or cultural group. Funeral rites share a sacred character as they are closely associated with the universal belief in post-mortal life; they concern the respective cultural units as a cooperating whole, regulating the relations between the living and the dead and promoting the coherence of the group. Ritual practices of funeral cult include ceremonies, speeches and meals.