Artifact caching, soil layering, and other intentional depositional practices—archaeologically defined “ritual deposits” of the past—are especially prevalent during the Mississippian period. Employing a perspective of relational ontology, however, we interrogate the validity of a past partitioned into religious, political, and daily spheres. Rather, this perspective emphasizes the multi-experiential and multi-dimensional aspects of social life. Meaning, intentional depositional acts can no longer be usefully described as simply “sacred” or “ritual” practices. Rather, these deposits should be explored as experiences tied to multiple layers of social life, investigating the relationships constructed through such deposits between humans, nonhuman agents, and the landscape.
Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 21, 2016
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