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The Archaeology of Darkness

edited by Marion Dowd and Robert Hensey
Format
Book
Published
Oxford ; Philadelphia : Oxbow Books, 2016.
Language
English
ISBN
9781785701917, 1785701916, 9781785701924, 9789781785701924, 9781785701948
Summary
"Through time people have lived with darkness. Archaeology shows us that over the whole human journey people have sought out dark places, for burials, for votive deposition and sometimes for retreat or religious ritual away from the wider community. Thirteen papers explore the Palaeolithic use of deep caves in Europe and the orientation of mortuary monuments in the Neolithic and Bronze Age. They examine how the senses are affected in caves and monuments that were used for ritual activities, from Bronze Age miners in Wales working in dangerous subterranean settings, to initiands in Italian caves, to a modern caver's experience of spending time in the one of the world's deepest caves in Russia. We see how darkness was and is viewed at northern latitudes where parts of the year are spent in eternal night, and in Easter Island where darkness provided communal refuge from the pervasive sun. We know that spending extended periods in darkness and silence can affect one physically, emotionally and spiritually. How did interactions between people and darkness affect individuals in the past and how were regarded by their communities? And how did this interaction transform places in the landscape? As the ever-increasing electrification of the planet steadily minimises the amount of darkness in our lives, curiously, darkness is coming more into focus. This first collection of papers on the subject begins a conversation about the role of darkness in human experience through time"--From publisher's website.
Contents
  • Past dark : a short introduction to the human relationship with darkness over time / Robert Hensey
  • Darkness visible : shadows, art and the ritual experience of caves in Upper Palaeolithic Europe / Paul Pettitt
  • Between symbol and senses : the role of darkness in ritual in prehistoric Italy / Ruth D. Whitehouse
  • Experiencing darkness and light in caves : later prehistoric examples from Seulo in central Sardinia / Robin Skeates
  • The dark side of the sky : the orientations of earlier prehistoric monuments in Ireland and Britain / Richard Bradley
  • In search of darkness : cave use in Late Bronze Age Ireland / Marion Dowd
  • Digging into the darkness : the experience of copper mining in the Great Orme, North Wales / Sian James
  • Between realms : entering the darkness of the hare paenga in ancient Rapa Nui (Easter Island) / Sue Hamilton and Colin Richards
  • Dark places and supernatural light in early Ireland / John Carey
  • Enfolded by the long winter's night / Charlotte Damm
  • 'The outer darkness of madness' : the Edwardian Winter Garden at Purdysburn Public Asylum for the insane / Gillian Allmond
  • Descent into darkness / Tim O'Connell
  • Coming in and out of the dark / Gabriel Cooney.
Description
xiv, 143 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), maps ; 24 cm
Notes
  • Papers from "Into the earth : the archaeology of darkness, " a conference held at the Institute of Technology Sligo, in the north-west of Ireland, October 27, 2012.
  • Includes bibliographical references.
Technical Details
  • Access in Virgo Classic
  • Staff View

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    a| Past dark : a short introduction to the human relationship with darkness over time / Robert Hensey -- Darkness visible : shadows, art and the ritual experience of caves in Upper Palaeolithic Europe / Paul Pettitt -- Between symbol and senses : the role of darkness in ritual in prehistoric Italy / Ruth D. Whitehouse -- Experiencing darkness and light in caves : later prehistoric examples from Seulo in central Sardinia / Robin Skeates -- The dark side of the sky : the orientations of earlier prehistoric monuments in Ireland and Britain / Richard Bradley -- In search of darkness : cave use in Late Bronze Age Ireland / Marion Dowd -- Digging into the darkness : the experience of copper mining in the Great Orme, North Wales / Sian James -- Between realms : entering the darkness of the hare paenga in ancient Rapa Nui (Easter Island) / Sue Hamilton and Colin Richards -- Dark places and supernatural light in early Ireland / John Carey -- Enfolded by the long winter's night / Charlotte Damm -- 'The outer darkness of madness' : the Edwardian Winter Garden at Purdysburn Public Asylum for the insane / Gillian Allmond -- Descent into darkness / Tim O'Connell -- Coming in and out of the dark / Gabriel Cooney.
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    a| "Through time people have lived with darkness. Archaeology shows us that over the whole human journey people have sought out dark places, for burials, for votive deposition and sometimes for retreat or religious ritual away from the wider community. Thirteen papers explore the Palaeolithic use of deep caves in Europe and the orientation of mortuary monuments in the Neolithic and Bronze Age. They examine how the senses are affected in caves and monuments that were used for ritual activities, from Bronze Age miners in Wales working in dangerous subterranean settings, to initiands in Italian caves, to a modern caver's experience of spending time in the one of the world's deepest caves in Russia. We see how darkness was and is viewed at northern latitudes where parts of the year are spent in eternal night, and in Easter Island where darkness provided communal refuge from the pervasive sun. We know that spending extended periods in darkness and silence can affect one physically, emotionally and spiritually. How did interactions between people and darkness affect individuals in the past and how were regarded by their communities? And how did this interaction transform places in the landscape? As the ever-increasing electrification of the planet steadily minimises the amount of darkness in our lives, curiously, darkness is coming more into focus. This first collection of papers on the subject begins a conversation about the role of darkness in human experience through time"--From publisher's website.
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    a| Social archaeology v| Congresses.
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    a| Ethnoarchaeology v| Congresses.
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    a| Landscape archaeology v| Congresses.
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    a| Light and darkness x| Social aspects x| History v| Congresses.
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    a| Night x| Social aspects x| History v| Congresses.
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    a| Caves x| Social aspects x| History v| Congresses.
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    a| Passage Graves culture v| Congresses.
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    a| Hensey, Robert, e| editor.
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    a| CC72.4 .A7346 2016 w| LC i| X031795343 l| STACKS m| FINE-ARTS t| BOOK
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