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Popular Religion and Ritual in Prehistoric and Ancient Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean
edited by Giorgos Vavouranakis, Konstantinos Kopanias and Chrysanthos Kanellopoulos. Paperback; 205x290mm; x+170 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white (30 plates in colour). 481 2018. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781789690453. Epublication ISBN 9781789690460.
Book contents page
This volume features a group of select peer-reviewed papers by an international group of authors, both younger and senior academics and researchers. It has its origins in a conference held at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, which aimed to bring up the frequently-neglected popular cult and other ritual practices in prehistoric and ancient Greece and the eastern Mediterranean. The topics covered by the chapters of the volume include the interplay between elite and popular ritual at cemeteries and peak sanctuaries just before and right after the establishment of the first palaces in Minoan Crete; the use of conical cups in Minoan ritual; the wide sharing of religious and other metaphysical beliefs as expressed in the wall-paintings of Akrotiri on the island of Thera; the significance of open-air sanctuaries, figurines and other informal cult and ritual paraphernalia in the Aegean, Cyprus and the Levant from the late bronze age to the archaic period; the role of figurines and caves in popular cult in the classical period; the practice of cursing in ancient Athens; and the popular element of sports games in ancient Greece.

About the Editors

GIORGOS VAVOURANAKIS is Assistant Professor in Prehistoric Aegean: Theoretical Archaeology at the Department of History and Archaeology of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. He studied at the same university and did his MA and PhD at the University of Sheffield. He has worked as a contract archaeologist for the Hellenic Ministry of Culture, as a post-doctoral researcher at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and as adjunct faculty at the Universities of Crete and the Peloponnese, and the Hellenic Open University. His research interests include archaeological theory, especially landscape archaeology and funerary archaeology, but also the history of archaeological research. He has directed field projects in Cyprus and Crete and is currently the deputy director of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens excavation at Marathon.

KONSTANTINOS KOPANIAS is Assistant Professor of Ancient Civilizations of the Eastern Mediterranean at the Department of History and Archaeology of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. He studied at the same university and also at the Paris-Lodron University of Salzburg and the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen. He has worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Athens, as adjunct faculty at the University of Crete and as Allgemeiner Referent at the German Archaeological Institute in Athens. Since 2011 he has been the director of the University of Athens excavaton in Tell Nader and Tell Baqrta in the Kurdistan Region in Iraq.

CHRYSANTHOS KANELLOPOULOS is an archaeologist specializing in classical architecture. He is Assistant Professor at the Department of History and Archaeology of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. He was employed for a number of years as a historical architect at the American Center of Oriental Research in Amman, Jordan, where he worked on the buildings of both Amman and Petra. His PhD thesis treated the classical and Hellenistic phases of ancient Karthaia on the island of Kea. He is the author of Amman: The Great Temple (Amman 1996) and the Late Roman Temenos Wall at Epidauros (Athens 1999), co-author of the Petra Church (Amman 2001), The Thymele at Epidauros (Fargo 2017) and The North Ridge in Petra (Amman 2018). During recent years, Dr Kanellopoulos’ work has focussed on the architecture of the Library of Hadrian in Athens and of the temple of Zeus Basileus in Levadeia.

Reviews

'The topic of the conference and of this volume is a welcome one in the field of Greek religion. Its greatest strength is the centering of under-published bodies of material from ritual contexts, such as figurines, and the emphasis on the importance of their contextualization within ritual practices for our understanding of popular religion and ritual in the Eastern Mediterranean. Especially useful are the number of papers that addressed the methodological problems of using small finds to identify and interpret otherwise opaque religious practices and beliefs in rural and domestic contexts. Similarly welcome was the diversity of material encapsulated in various case studies.' ⁠— Catharine Judson (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Bryn Mawr Classical Review, August 2019)



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