Archaeologists have been increasingly turning their attention to the study of religion, but the field so far has lacked a cross-cultural overview. This text challenges archaeological conventions by refusing to respect the geographic and temporal boundaries with which archaeologists too often define their field. Worldwide in range and comparative in perspective, this exploration is guided by several fundamental questions: how do we recognize religion in the archaeological record? When should we recognize the first activities we call religious? What distinguishes a world religion? How can we see the formations of modern world religions in the archaeological record? An Archaeology of Religion begins with the first glimmers of what might be considered religious expression in the Paleolithic period and concludes with the complexities of world religions today. This book is an ambitious attempt to survey how scholars approach the identification of religious sites and practices in the archaeological record.
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