Prehistoric Religion

  • Published on

  • View

  • Download

Embed Size (px)


<p>UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA</p> <p>LIBRARIES</p> <p>COLLEGE LIBRARY</p> <p>mDigitized byin</p> <p>tine</p> <p>Internet Arciiive</p> <p>2011</p> <p>witii</p> <p>funding from</p> <p>LYRASIS</p> <p>IVIembers and Sloan Foundation</p> <p></p> <p>PREHISTORIC RELIGION</p> <p>By</p> <p>the same</p> <p>Author</p> <p>HISTORY OF RELIGIONS</p> <p>THE NATURE AND FUNCTION OF PRIESTHOOD THE CONCEPT OF DEITYMARRIAGE AND SOCIETY</p> <p>THE BEGINNINGS OF RELIGION THE SOCIAL FUNCTION OF RELIGION COMPARATIVE RELIGION THE ORIGINS OF SACRIFICE THE STONE AGE THE BEGINNINGS OF MAN INTRODUCTION TO ANTHROPOLOGY PRIMITIVE RITUAL AND BELIEF AN ANTHROPOLOGICAL STUDY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT, ETC</p> <p>PREHISTORIC RELIGIONAStudyin Prehistoric</p> <p>Archaeology</p> <p>hy</p> <p>E.</p> <p>O.</p> <p>JAMESPkD., F.SJi.History</p> <p>D.Utt.,</p> <p>Professor</p> <p>Emeritus of the</p> <p>of Religion</p> <p>in</p> <p>the</p> <p>University of London. Fellow of University College</p> <p>and Fellow of King's College</p> <p>BARNES &amp; NOBLE, INC.PuhlishersBooksellers</p> <p>New YorkSince i8j^</p> <p>COPYRIGHT 1957 BY E. O. JAMES ALL RIGHTS RESERVED</p> <p>United States 1962 by Barnes &amp; Noble, Inc. 105 Fifth Avenue, New York 3</p> <p>Published</p> <p>in the in</p> <p>Printed in the United States of America</p> <p>CONTENTSPREFACEPALAEOLITHIC BURIAL RITUALPa^e 13</p> <p>I.</p> <p>1</p> <p>The Cult of SkullsChoukoutien</p> <p>171</p> <p>Monte CirceoOfnet</p> <p>19</p> <p>202121</p> <p>Ceremonial Interment in the Middle Palaeolithic</p> <p>Le Momtier</p> <p>La Chapelle^aux^ Saints La Ferrassie</p> <p>21</p> <p>222323</p> <p>The Upper</p> <p>Palaeolithic</p> <p>The Grimaldi BurialsPaviland and other Upper Palaeolithic Sepultures</p> <p>25</p> <p>Ther.</p> <p>Palaeolithic</p> <p>Cult oj the Dead.."'&gt;..</p> <p>2830'-1.</p> <p>The</p> <p>Mesolithic Transition</p> <p>Azilian^Tardenoisian Interments{-</p> <p>,</p> <p>303i3-23 3</p> <p>MaglemoseanErtehelle</p> <p>;:.; .</p> <p>V:</p> <p>^'</p> <p>^</p> <p>--^'-i</p> <p>;i--'.</p> <p>v-;.</p> <p>^</p> <p>Danish Dyssers</p> <p>^^v:^y!;v:-v</p> <p>/</p> <p>II.</p> <p>NEOLITHIC BURIALS IN</p> <p>THE"' AJSfCIENT</p> <p>EAST</p> <p>34 34353 3</p> <p>Egyptian Neolithic CemeteriesBadarian</p> <p>AmratianMerimdian</p> <p>67</p> <p>Gerzean5</p> <p>3</p> <p>7</p> <p>Contents</p> <p>The</p> <p>Earliest</p> <p>Dynastic</p> <p>Tombsthe</p> <p>39</p> <p>The Mastaha Tomb andNeolithic</p> <p>Pyramid</p> <p>4043</p> <p>Tombs</p> <p>in Mesopotamia</p> <p>HassunaTell Halaf</p> <p>44 44 46 4750</p> <p>Al</p> <p>'Ubaid</p> <p>The Royal Tombs of Urii</p> <p>Burials in</p> <p>Elam and</p> <p>Baluchistan</p> <p>1</p> <p>SusaBaluchistanI</p> <p>505153</p> <p>The Nal Cemetery</p> <p>The Indus ValleyMohenjo^daro</p> <p>54 5455</p> <p>HarappaCemetery Cemetery</p> <p>R ^y</p> <p>55</p> <p>H</p> <p>$6</p> <p>III.</p> <p>MEGALITHIC BURIAL IN EUROPEEastern MediterraneanTholoiin</p> <p>58 5858</p> <p>Cyprusin</p> <p>Vaulted Tombs</p> <p>Crete</p> <p>61</p> <p>The Cycladic Tombs The Siculan Rock^cut Tombs</p> <p>63</p> <p>6$ 656$in the Balearic Isles</p> <p>Western MediterraneanSardinian Gallery^tombs</p> <p>Rock^cut Tombs and NavetasMaltese Megaliths</p> <p>6668</p> <p>Iberian Peninsula</p> <p>72</p> <p>The Almerian MegalithsSouth-west Iberian TombsPyrenaean Megaliths</p> <p>727678</p> <p>Atlantic EuropeMegalithic</p> <p>79in Brittany</p> <p>Tombs</p> <p>7983</p> <p>The S.O.M. Culture</p> <p>Contents</p> <p>783</p> <p>The</p> <p>British Isles</p> <p>British</p> <p>Long Barrows</p> <p>848688</p> <p>The SevernyCotswold BarrowsThe BoynePassage-^graves</p> <p>The Clyde^CarliiigJord Gallery ^graves</p> <p>9092</p> <p>The Medway Megaliths</p> <p>The NorthernThe Danish</p> <p>Megalithic</p> <p>Tombs</p> <p>949495</p> <p>Passage-'graves</p> <p>Battle-axes and Single Graves</p> <p>IV.</p> <p>CREMATION, INHUMATION AND MUMMIFICATIONCremation in Europe inPartial Cremation under</p> <p>97 9798</p> <p>the</p> <p>Bronze</p> <p>Age</p> <p>Long Barrows</p> <p>Kound BarrowsUrn BurialThe Terramara Cemeteries The Villanovan Cemeteries The Lausitz The Alpine TheUrnfields Urnfields</p> <p>99loi</p> <p>102103</p> <p>104105</p> <p>Hallstatt Cemetery</p> <p>107108</p> <p>Cremation and Inhumation</p> <p>Mummification in Ancient EgyptNatural DesiccationPreservation and</p> <p>109 109 109</p> <p>Emhalmment</p> <p>"Substitute</p> <p>Heads"</p> <p>no1 1</p> <p>Portrait Statues</p> <p>The "Opening of the Mouth" Ceremony Making a Mummy The Burial Rites</p> <p>1121131 1</p> <p>V.</p> <p>THE CULT OF THE DEAD TheDisposal of the</p> <p>II</p> <p>Body</p> <p>117118</p> <p>Cave-hurial</p> <p>The Skull-cultSecondary Burial</p> <p>ii8</p> <p>119</p> <p>I</p> <p>ContentsPreservation and Cremation</p> <p>Desiccation and Mummification</p> <p>Images of the</p> <p>Dead</p> <p>The</p> <p>Afterlife</p> <p>The Relation of Body and SoulBurial and the AfterylifeOrientation</p> <p>Status</p> <p>DurationGraue-'^oods</p> <p>Human</p> <p>Sacrifice</p> <p>The Cult of the Dead</p> <p>VI.</p> <p>THE MYSTERY OF BIRTHThe Mystery of BirthSculptured " Venuses"</p> <p>in Palaeolithic</p> <p>Times</p> <p>Cowrie ShellsFertility</p> <p>Dances</p> <p>Neolithic and Chalcolithic Female Figurines</p> <p>Arpachiyah</p> <p>Tepe GawraTell Hassuna and</p> <p>At</p> <p>'Uhaid</p> <p>WarkaSusa</p> <p>AnauBaluchistan</p> <p>The Indus ValleyPhallic</p> <p>EmblemsCyprus andthe</p> <p>Anatolia,</p> <p>Cyclades</p> <p>Crete</p> <p>The Mother^goddessThe Great Minoan GoddessThe Maltese Goddess Cult</p> <p>The</p> <p>Iherian</p> <p>Goddess Cult</p> <p>Statue^'menhirs</p> <p>The Goddess Cult</p> <p>in Britain</p> <p>and Northern France</p> <p>ContentsVII.</p> <p>9I72172173</p> <p>FERTILITY AND THE FOOD SUPPLYPalaeolithic</p> <p>Hunting Ritual</p> <p>Increase Rites</p> <p>The Control of the Chase Hmttin Art and Ritual</p> <p>174 179in the</p> <p>The Vegetation CultusThe Divine KingshipThe Cult of Osirisin</p> <p>Ancient Near East</p> <p>1</p> <p>81</p> <p>Egypt</p> <p>183</p> <p>183</p> <p>The Solar Theology The AnnualFestival</p> <p>184187188</p> <p>The Sacred Marriage of the King and the Goddess in Mesopotamia The Dying and Reviving Year^god in Western Asia</p> <p>189195</p> <p>The Cultus</p> <p>in the</p> <p>AegeanVegetation and the</p> <p>The Minoatu Mycenaean Goddess of Male GodZeus and Demeter</p> <p>Young</p> <p>196</p> <p>197in North-west</p> <p>The Vegetation CultAegeanInfluences in</p> <p>Europe</p> <p>201</p> <p>Wessex</p> <p>202</p> <p>VIII.</p> <p>THE SKY/RELIGIONTheIdea of</p> <p>204 204</p> <p>God</p> <p>Animism and PolytheismSupreme Beings</p> <p>204 206Shy 'god208</p> <p>The</p> <p>Universality and Antiquity of the</p> <p>The Sky^godThe</p> <p>in the</p> <p>Near East</p> <p>209</p> <p>Sky^religion in</p> <p>Egypt</p> <p>209213</p> <p>The Babylonian Triads</p> <p>The Indo-EuropeanZeus andthe</p> <p>Sky-'gods</p> <p>216216221</p> <p>The IndoAranian Sky 'godsOlympian Divine Familythe</p> <p>The Skyyfather and</p> <p>Earth^mother</p> <p>22422$</p> <p>The</p> <p>Scandinavian Heavenly Deitiesin</p> <p>Sky^worship</p> <p>Wessex</p> <p>227</p> <p>10IX.</p> <p>Contents</p> <p>PREHISTORIC RELIGION</p> <p>The</p> <p>Ritual Control of Natural Processes</p> <p>The Nature and Function of Sytnhols Totemism and the Sacred DanceFertility</p> <p>and</p> <p>the Mystery of Birth</p> <p>and Generation</p> <p>Cow^sytnholistn</p> <p>Generation and Maternity</p> <p>The Goddess Cult</p> <p>The Cult of the DeadPalaeolithic</p> <p>Ancient Egypt</p> <p>Mesopotamia</p> <p>The Indus ValleyThe MediterraneanWestern Europe</p> <p>TheThe</p> <p>Sky/religionCelestial AfterAife</p> <p>The Concept of the Universal Sky 'god</p> <p>NOTESBIBLIOGRAPHY</p> <p>INDEX</p> <p>ILLUSTRATIONSFigure1</p> <p>Page</p> <p>Collar on a skeleton from</p> <p>Barma Grande, Mentone</p> <p>25</p> <p>23</p> <p>The development of the mastaba tombEntrance to passage^graveat</p> <p>41Spain</p> <p>Los</p> <p>Millares,</p> <p>747581</p> <p>45</p> <p>Reconstruction of entrance to passage^grave at Los MillaresPassage^grave at Kercado, near Carnac, Brittany</p> <p>6 78</p> <p>The Bryn</p> <p>Celli</p> <p>Ddu</p> <p>chambered</p> <p>cairn,</p> <p>Anglesey</p> <p>8789</p> <p>New</p> <p>Grange chambered tomb, Co. Meath, Irelandin the rock^shelter at Cogul, near Lerida,</p> <p>Dancing sceneSpain</p> <p>149chieftain" scene, a detail</p> <p>9</p> <p>The "dancing</p> <p>from a painting in the151</p> <p>rock^shelter at Alpera, Albacete,</p> <p>Spain</p> <p>ID11</p> <p>Cult scene on the Hagia Triada sarcophagus in Crete</p> <p>165</p> <p>Owl^eyed female figurmes, Almeria, Spain</p> <p>169 175177</p> <p>1213</p> <p>"The</p> <p>Sorcerer" in Les Trois Freres, Ariege, Francedesigns in Niaux, Ariege, Francesignet ring,</p> <p>Dying bison and claviform</p> <p>14</p> <p>Minoan Goddess Oxford</p> <p>scene</p> <p>on a</p> <p>Ashmolean Museum,197</p> <p>MAPS</p> <p>The</p> <p>principal groups of painted caves in France and northern Spain</p> <p>and other</p> <p>Palaeolithic</p> <p>sites</p> <p>261</p> <p>The ancient Near EastPrehistoric cultures in</p> <p>262</p> <p>Europe</p> <p>263</p> <p>CHARTSPleistocene</p> <p>and</p> <p>Palaeolithic Periods</p> <p>291291</p> <p>Mesolithic Period</p> <p>Sequence of Cultures in Western Europe</p> <p>292293</p> <p>Sequence of Cultures in the Eastern MediterraneanSequence of Cultures in the Near East</p> <p>294</p> <p>SOURCES FOR ILLUSTRATIONS</p> <p>G. H. Luquet: The Art and Religion of Fossil Man, 1930 (i, 8, 9, 12); T. E. Peer; Harms worth's Universal History, vol. v (2); Daryll Forde:"</p> <p>American Anthropologist,Archaeologia, vol.</p> <p>N.</p> <p>S. vol. 32,</p> <p>No.</p> <p>i,</p> <p>1930 (3,4,</p> <p>5);</p> <p>W. J. Hemp:</p> <p>iiHi!</p> <p>I|i</p> <p>xxx, 1930 (6); T. G. E. Powell: Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, N. S. vol. iv, Pt. 2 (7); G. R. Levy: The Gate of Horn, 1948 (10); V. Gordon Childe: The Dawn oj European Civilization,5th ed., 1950 (11);</p> <p>Max</p> <p>Raphael:</p> <p>Prehistoric</p> <p>Cave</p> <p>Paintings,</p> <p>1945 (13);</p> <p>"^i</p> <p>Ashmolean Museum, Oxford</p> <p>(14).</p> <p>PREFACEIn the considerable literature on prehistoric archaeology thathas accumulated in recent years, covering almost every aspect</p> <p>of the subject, so</p> <p>far as I</p> <p>am</p> <p>aware there has been no attempt</p> <p>in this country to bring together</p> <p>and</p> <p>interpret in</p> <p>a single</p> <p>volume the available material relating specifically to religious phenomena. There have been and are, of course, many excel-' lent and quite invaluable regional studies which describe and discuss much of the data in particular areas and cultures indeed but for them the present volume could not have been produced. There are also a number of works on various aspects of prehistory in general, directly or indirectly bearing on evidence analysed and reviewed in this book to which referencefrequently has been</p> <p>made</p> <p>in</p> <p>its</p> <p>compilation, as will be seenfor</p> <p>from the footnotes and bibhographies. Nevertheless,time,</p> <p>some</p> <p>and</p> <p>especially</p> <p>when</p> <p>the subject</p> <p>was discussed</p> <p>at a con-'</p> <p>ference of the Prehistoric Society at theInstitute</p> <p>London</p> <p>University</p> <p>of Archaeology in 1 95 3 and,</p> <p>at</p> <p>the meeting of the British</p> <p>Associationligation</p> <p>at Bristol</p> <p>in 1955,</p> <p>it</p> <p>has seemed that an invest</p> <p>of the</p> <p>field as</p> <p>an organized whole should be undertaken</p> <p>in the</p> <p>Ught of the evidence</p> <p>now</p> <p>at</p> <p>hand.</p> <p>In opening such an inquiry an</p> <p>initial</p> <p>problem was</p> <p>to decide</p> <p>how</p> <p>the term "prehistoric" should be interpreted,quern.</p> <p>and whatat the</p> <p>should be the terminus adsideration of the texts,</p> <p>To</p> <p>have drawn the Hne</p> <p>invention of the art of writing</p> <p>would have excluded all con-' documents, and inscriptions written orstelae or</p> <p>carved on prehistoric or protohistoric tombs, temples,tablets</p> <p>an alWmportant source of information, not only for contemporary behef and practice but also for their more remote background.for this investigation, constitute</p> <p>which, particularly</p> <p>The main</p> <p>purpose, however, of a study of Prehistoric ReUgionits</p> <p>must be an examination of the discipline infestations prior to the recording</p> <p>earliest</p> <p>mani/</p> <p>of events in written documents</p> <p>in sufficient quantity to</p> <p>make</p> <p>possible a precise determination</p> <p>of</p> <p>their occurrence,</p> <p>chronology and significance through the13</p> <p>14</p> <p>Prefaceit</p> <p>ordinaxy channels of historical research. Therefore,</p> <p>has been</p> <p>and Neolithic periods that attention has been primarily concentrated, where no written records obtain.the Palaeolithic</p> <p>upon</p> <p>The termcultto</p> <p>"Neolithic" however,</p> <p>is</p> <p>now</p> <p>exceedingly</p> <p>diffi-'</p> <p>define</p> <p>and determine</p> <p>as</p> <p>the transition</p> <p>gathering to food/production certainlyorderly sequence of events, as</p> <p>from food/ was not a uniform andis</p> <p>was formerly supposed, even</p> <p>though</p> <p>it</p> <p>mayin</p> <p>not have been quite so revolutionary as</p> <p>now</p> <p>sometimesestablishedit</p> <p>asserted.</p> <p>Thus,</p> <p>as</p> <p>the use of metalsatleast</p> <p>wasyears</p> <p>firmly before</p> <p>the</p> <p>Near East</p> <p>2,000</p> <p>was introduced into Britain and other outlying regions far removed from the centre of prehistoric civilization, it is impose sible to draw a hard and fast line in any chronological sense between the Neolithic and the Bronze Age in the study of a specific aspect of prehistory which covers the whole field.Therefore,the secondI</p> <p>have not hesitatedof theFertile</p> <p>to include the</p> <p>developments in</p> <p>millennium B.C. in the background of the higherCrescent and Western Asia, of</p> <p>religious systems</p> <p>India and of pre^Homeric Greece, calculated to throw light ontheirfaiths</p> <p>prehistoric antecedents,</p> <p>though in some instances the may have passed into the realms of recorded history.the other end of the scale a quantity of material existsbeliefs</p> <p>At</p> <p>concerning the observable</p> <p>andall</p> <p>practices</p> <p>still,</p> <p>or until</p> <p>very recently, current in primitive societiescivilization, or inits</p> <p>on</p> <p>the fringes of</p> <p>background,</p> <p>over the world,</p> <p>many of</p> <p>changed throughout the ages. Some of them, in fact, go back apparently to a very remote period in the prehistory of mankind. In employing these sources of information to throw light on ancient institu/</p> <p>which appear</p> <p>to</p> <p>have persisted</p> <p>little</p> <p>tions, customs and traditions extreme caution is needed, fore/ warned by the uncritical theoretical reconstructions of "origins'* and "developments" of an earlier generation of social anthropo/ logists. Then general conclusions were drawn from disparate phenomena, often haphazardly assembled and brought together on the principle of superficial resemblance, regardless of their diversities, comparability and provenance. But notwithstanding these fruitless attempts to produce an</p> <p>5</p> <p>Preface</p> <p>1</p> <p>orderly stratified sequence of cultural</p> <p>and</p> <p>"spiritual" ascent</p> <p>from savagery</p> <p>to civilization, successive in</p> <p>time and progressive</p> <p>in development, reasonably reliable first-hand accounts,especially intensive studies of existing primitive societies</p> <p>andby</p> <p>properly trained observers for the purpose of ascertaining thepart played</p> <p>by</p> <p>beliefs</p> <p>and</p> <p>institutions in a given social structure</p> <p>(which happilylogical data.activities</p> <p>now</p> <p>are</p> <p>becoming increasinglyable to throw lightbeliefs</p> <p>available),</p> <p>constitute valuable data for the interpretation of the archaeo^</p> <p>Such studies are and organizations,</p> <p>and</p> <p>practices,</p> <p>on analogous and their</p> <p>significance within living religious systems under conditions</p> <p>not very different from thosetimes.</p> <p>which</p> <p>prevailed in prehistoric</p> <p>This</p> <p>is</p> <p>most apparent in the case of the anthropologicallike, for</p> <p>evidence derived from existing peoples,</p> <p>example, the</p> <p>Nilotic tribes in East Africa representing the remnants of the</p> <p>substratum out of which the higher civilization of the Nilevalley arose,</p> <p>and who have retained</p> <p>in their material</p> <p>and spiritual</p> <p>culture</p> <p>and</p> <p>linguistic affinities definite links</p> <p>with the prehistoriccontained in the</p> <p>Egyptians.It</p> <p>cannot be denied, then, that the past</p> <p>is</p> <p>present, evento</p> <p>though the</p> <p>earlier theory</p> <p>of "survivals" has hadit</p> <p>be abandoned in the form in whichit</p> <p>was formerly held.lies</p> <p>Moreover, while</p> <p>may</p> <p>be impossible to determine whatsocieties</p> <p>behind the existing culture in some primitive</p> <p>devoid</p> <p>of any ascertainable history, this certainly does not apply in thecase of the ancient civiUzations out of which the higher re...</p>