The course offers class participants an introduction to the religions of Crete, Mainland Greece and the Cyclades in the Bronze Age, and an introduction to the theories and methods of the archaeological study of religion through reading assignments, lectures and structured discussions in class and in archaeological museums/sites. The archaeology of Minoan and Mycenaean religions is explored in a series of thematic class sessions, such as the archaeology of cult places, representations of gods and goddesses, cult practices and rituals (sacrifice, offerings, processions, bull games), religion and embodiment (pilgrimage, dance, food and drink, use of amulets, dress and ornaments), the role of nature in Aegean religions, the relation between religion and society (religion, ideology and power), the study of religious symbols and cult objects. Emphasis is placed on how the systematic archaeological interpretation of Aegean religions is informed by insights from the anthropology of religion as well as archaeological theory, methodology and field practices. The course has no prerequisites, although any background on Aegean prehistory, Greek archaeology or Greek religion will be an advantage.
Prehistoric Aegean Religions