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Ideology 2010 - IDEOLOGICAL SYSTEMS Means by which a...

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IDEOLOGICAL SYSTEMS Means by which a society codifies beliefs about the natural and supernatural worlds An ideological system relates supernatural phenomena to the everyday world
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How can archaeologists study past ideas like ideological systems? Myths or supernatural phenomena or beliefs are not likely to be preserved directly However, rituals and symbols associated with ideology can be observed.
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Ritual: stereotyped, repetitive behavioral sequence Generally accompanied by oral or written literature, set of sacred objects, sequence of taboos, feasts and/or sacrifices, and symbols Two classes of rituals: Calendrical and Critical rituals
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Calendrical ritual: Based on calendrical events Scheduled long in advance of its occurrence Always for community Examples: Green Corn Ceremony (first harvest ceremony), Ceremony to begin planting crops
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For calendrical ritual , society keeps some kind of calendar: A built structure Natural horizon markers Center pole & associated posts
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Example: Woodhenge at Cahokia, IL a built structure to mark calendrical time
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Can also use the natural horizon to supply calendrical markers Hopi use natural horizon of mesas Can anticipate activities by daily shift of sunrise on the horizon
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Critical ritual Noncalendrical May benefit individual, group, or society Examples: Wedding, funeral
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Funeral ritual today Rituals are scheduled at more than one place, in a certain order First ceremony may be at a special facility, either secular (mortuary chapel) or religious (church) Body may be in a special box on display at front of room
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  • Spring '06
  • SIMMONS
  • Anthropology of religion, Mississippian culture, Bakker, ancestor worship, World renewal/fertility Ancestor

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