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Witchcraft and magic in Enlightenment Europe

This book looks at aspects of the continuation of witchcraft and magic in Europe from the last of the secular and ecclesiastical trials during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, through to the nineteenth century. It provides a brief outline of witch trials in late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Finland. By the second half of the seventeenth century, as the witch trials reached their climax in Sweden, belief in the interventionist powers of the Devil had become a major preoccupation of the educated classes. Having acknowledged the slight possibility of real possession by the Devil, Benito Feijoo threw himself wholeheartedly into his real objective: to expose the falseness of the majority of the possessed. The book is concerned with accusations of magic, which were formalised as denunciations heard by the Inquisition of the Archdiocese of Capua, a city twelve miles north of Naples, during the first half of the eighteenth century. One aspect of the study of witchcraft and magic, which has not yet been absorbed into the main stream of literature on the subject, is the archaeological record of the subject. As a part of the increasing interest in 'popular' culture, historians have become more conscious of the presence of witchcraft after the witch trials. The aftermath of the major witch trials in Dalarna, Sweden, demonstrates how the authorities began the awkward process of divorcing themselves from popular concerns and beliefs regarding witchcraft.

Brian Hoggard

9 Beyond the witch trials Counter-witchcraft and popular magic The archaeology of counter-witchcraft and popular magic Brian Hoggard One aspect of the study of witchcraft and magic, which has not yet been absorbed into the main stream of literature on the subject, is the archaeological record of the subject. Objects such as witch-bottles, dried cats, horse skulls, shoes, written charms and numerous other items have been discovered concealed inside houses in significant quantities from the early modern period until well into the twentieth century. The locations

in Beyond the witch trials
Was he more than just ‘Dr Took’?
Jonathan R. Trigg

seems to have been clearly someone who was subject to periods of intense activity that had great influence on the work of his contemporaries, as well as those antiquaries and academics that followed, and without which we would have far lesser understanding of the archaeological record of the Wessex region. Yet, unlike many fellow antiquarians, for example, he did not publish his own observations, favouring the communication of such to other contemporary scholars. There are, it seems to me, three forms of network to which Toope’s work contributes, and these might be

in Communities and knowledge production in archaeology
Hybridity of environment in Bald’s Leechbook
Lori Ann Garner

adeafian , and suggests that deafness would not have been as socially marginalizing as has been sometimes been maintained. As with the medical texts and law codes, the archaeological record indicates conditions that would have been accompanied by gradual changes to hearing across a range of auditory experiences. One such condition is otosclerosis, a middle-ear disease ‘in which proliferative new bone fixes the footplate of the stapes into the oval window, causing deafness’. 105 One study of 1,164 temporal bones of individuals

in Hybrid healing
The beginnings and spread of Christianity
Robin Derricourt

st century, a set of traditions had been recorded about Yeshua, including birth to a virgin mother, details of his teaching, his performance of a range of miracles, and his resurrection. The archaeological record begins to show the existence of Christian communities within the Roman Empire only from the late 2nd century, which suggests that the growth of Christianity was both gradual and widely dispersed. T here has been no shortage of debates and discussions published in western languages about the era in which Christianity emerged. A challenge is to distinguish

in Creating God
Abstract only
The birth and growth of major religions

What do we really know of the origins and first spread of major monotheistic religions, once we strip away the myths and later traditions that developed? Creating God uses modern critical historical scholarship alongside archaeology to describe the times and places which saw the emergence of Mormonism, Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism. What was the social, economic and political world in which they began, and the framework of other contemporary religious movements in which they could flourish? What was their historical background and what was their geographical setting? Written from a secular viewpoint, the author reveals where a scholarly approach to the history of religions may diverge from the assumptions of faith, and shows the value of comparing different movements and different histories in one account. Throughout history, many individuals have believed that they were in direct contact with a divine source, receiving direction to spread a religious message. A few persuaded others and developed a following, and a small minority of such movements grew into full religions. In time, these movements developed, augmented, selected and invented their own narratives of foundation: stories about the founders’ lives and the early stages in which their religious group emerged. Modern critical scholarship helps us understand something of how a successful religion could emerge, thrive and begin the journey to become a world faith. This book presents a narrative to interest, challenge and intrigue readers interested in the beginnings of some of the most powerful ideas that have influenced human history.

Art, process, archaeology

This book presents a study of material images and asks how an appreciation of the making and unfolding of images and art alters archaeological accounts of prehistoric and historic societies. With contributions focusing on case studies including prehistoric Britain, Scandinavia, Iberia, the Americas and Dynastic Egypt, and including contemporary reflections on material images, it makes a novel contribution to ongoing debates relating to archaeological art and images. The book offers a New Materialist analysis of archaeological imagery, with an emphasis on considering the material character of images and their making and unfolding. The book reassesses the predominantly representational paradigm of archaeological image analysis and argues for the importance of considering the ontology of images. It considers images as processes or events and introduces the verb ‘imaging’ to underline the point that images are conditions of possibility that draw together differing aspects of the world. The book is divided into three sections: ‘Emergent images’, which focuses on practices of making; ‘Images as process’, which examines the making and role of images in prehistoric societies; and ‘Unfolding images’, which focuses on how images change as they are made and circulated. The book features contributions from archaeologists, Egyptologists, anthropologists and artists. The contributors to the book highlight the multiple role of images in prehistoric and historic societies, demonstrating that archaeologists need to recognise the dynamic and changeable character of images.

Open Access (free)
Duncan Sayer

factors as local and regional politics, religion, family and wealth. Material and social things like dress, weapons, wealth, children and the past were reflections of that contemporary attitude. This complexity is hard to see in the archaeological record, because individual approaches to life course, gender or status cannot capture that relational Zeitgeist . It is vital therefore that this study proposes a holistic approach, creating a relational mortuary archaeology in which the spatial location of a grave was as important as the chronological date, the objects and

in Early Anglo-Saxon cemeteries
Catherine J. Frieman

How can we understand innovation, given the limits of the archaeological record? In 1954, Christopher Hawkes, then Professor of European Archaeology at Oxford, published a meditation on archaeological methods based on a presentation he had given a year earlier whilst in the United States as a visiting scholar at Harvard (Hawkes 1954 ). Although his main thrust was to push back against the then emerging Americanist anthropological archaeology by presenting an alternative view of the discipline as most closely aligned to history, in fact the paper’s greatest

in An archaeology of innovation
Abstract only
Catherine J. Frieman

given the limits of the archaeological record, innovation can only be understood through an explicitly social lens. In this chapter, I build outwards from a discussion of the changing narratives of early agriculture studies – from positivist to revolutionary to complex mosaics – in order to explore how archaeological model-building around innovation works. I contrast my social approach with the influential evolutionary school of thought and argue that the latter flattens a complex and difficult past. The question of how innovations happen and whether archaeologists

in An archaeology of innovation