A life less ordinary: The ritualization of the domestic sphere in later prehistoric Europe
Bradley, R. (2003) A life less ordinary: The ritualization of the domestic sphere in later prehistoric Europe. Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 13 (1). pp. 5-23. ISSN 0959-7743
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This article, which is based on the fourteenth McDonald Lecture, considers two tensions in contemporary archaeology. one is between interpretations of specific structures, monuments and deposits as the result of either 'ritual' 'practical' activities in the past, and the other is between an archaeology that focuses on subsistence and adaptation and one that emphasizes cognition, meaning, and agency. It suggests that these tensions arise from an inadequate conception of ritual itself. Drawing on recent studies of ritualization, it suggests that it might be more helpful to consider how aspects of domestic life took on special qualities in later prehistoric Europe. The discussion is based mainly on Neolithic enclosures and other monuments, Bronze Age and Iron Age settlement sites and the Viereckschanzen of central Europe. it may have implications for field archaeology as well as social archaeology, and also for those who study the formation of the archaeological record.