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Cotsen Institute of Archaeology

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Domestic Ritual in Ancient Mesoamerica


Although the concepts and patterns of ritual varied through time in relation to general sociopolitical transformations and local historical circumstances in ancient Mesoamerica, most archaeologists would agree that certain underlying themes and structures modeled the ritual phenomena of this complex culture area. By focusing on ritual expression at the household level, this volume seeks to compare the manifestations of domestic ritual across time and space in both the cores and peripheries, in the cities and in the villages. The authors explore the ways in which cosmological principles and concepts of the sacred were used in the construction of ritual space and practice, how local landscapes provided templates for the images and paraphernalia recovered from archaeological contexts, how foreign enclaves relied on ritual for social reproduction, and how domestic ritual was related to, and indeed embedded in, institutionalized state religions.

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