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Call for EAA Maastricht Session 227 - Medieval ritual and votive deposits

M. Pilar Prieto Martínez and Catarina Tente invite you to participate in the session 'Medieval ritual and votive deposits.' (n 277 session), for the 23rd Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists (August 30th – September 2nd, 2017) .

Submission for papers & posters will be open between 6 February to 15 March 2017.


Medieval ritual and votive deposits.

Although Medieval Archaeology has a long tradition in European studies, there are still certain aspects that have not been explored in any great detail, and which are little known from the archaeological record, such as votive deposits. These are ritual deposits associated with religious rites, but outside of the strictly funerary context.

The territory, habitats, burials, and production areas are well known in many regions; historical documentation contributes towards contrasting archaeological data, and the introduction of archaeometric techniques applied on a large scale has also proved useful for medieval periods. However, it can be more difficult for archaeologists to find a clear record in which a material deposit can be recognised as ritual and consciously expressed in non-funerary contexts, as the relationship between the religious and the mundane is definitely incapable of defining their limits. Typological studies of materials are not intended to define these types of contexts, which are very scarce in the literature, and mainly focus on faunal records found in dwelling contexts or in churches. It is interesting to consider the documentation of medieval materials in prehistoric sites, such as the ‘re-use’ of spaces in megalithic tombs or Iron Age hill forts; these are contexts that have only been investigated on rare occasions, which are not only the result of simple occupations or sporadic activities, and which could in some way be connecting aspects of Christianity with previous belief systems.

The aim of this session is to bring together studies that define these medieval contexts with votive deposits at European level, with a special focus on votive deposits with pottery. Religion, as in all societies, has an important effect on the population, which has to be transferred into rituals and material evidence associated with them; these deposits are a form of ritual materiality, and studying them can help us to obtain a deeper understanding of this social and religious context.

Communications and posters connected with this topic will be accepted.


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