Studia Antiqua et Archaeologica 18(1): 5-80

Valentin-Codrin Chirica, Iași Institute of Archaeology, Romanian Academy – Iași branch, .img

George Bodi, Iași Institute of Archaeology, Romanian Academy – Iași branch, .img

Vasile Chirica, Iași Institute of Archaeology, Romanian Academy – Iași branch, .img


We can notice that the idea that we are trying to assign to prehistoric man, that is the sacredness condition, which represents a specific feature and is manifested by voluntary deeds and actions, such as the artistic creation and the funeral phenomenon, was a specific feature of the social life of prehistoric communities. Regarding the so various burial practices, understood as representative for the will of the community members, the social relations between them, a certain state of religiosity and continuity in the prehistoric environments, we try to differentiate between ritual space and sacred space; ritual space cannot be permanently equated, especially for the localizations of its manifestations, to the sacred space. Ritual space has become sacred following the repetition of the manifestations of the collective sacredness (we refer, for instance, to the continuity of the burials in the same place, considered by its effectiveness, observed as repetition of the phenomenon of funeral sacredness); thus, the ritual space of the Paleolithic caves or outside them has become open to sacredness by the attitude of the practitioners, of the initiated, and also, possibly, by the one of a large number of adepts, participants in the respective cult manifestations. During the Upper Paleolithic one notices sometimes the same practices of the funeral behavior, and also particular innovations. Variations appear regarding the deposition and the orientation of the dead and especially of the funeral offerings etc. We consider it is only then that the behavior of the living population creates the possibility of evaluation of the functioning manners of the respective human communities, their organization, mentalities and, last but not least, their beliefs and religious practices.

Les auteurs essayent de distinguer l’espace ritual de l’espace sacré au Paléolithique Supérieur. Les différences apparaissent dans la deposition du défunt, dans son orientation et dans les offrandes funéraires. Ils considèrent que le comportement des survivants fournissent des possibilités d’évaluation de leur mentalités et de leurs croyances et pratiques religieuses.

Autorii încearcă o diferenţiere a spaţiului ritual de cel sacru în Paleoliticul Superior. Diferenţele apar în modul de depunere a defunctului, în orientarea sa şi în modul de depunere a ofrandelor funerare. Ei consideră că modul de comportament al supravieţuitorilor poate furniza posibilităţi de evaluare a mentalităţilor, ale credinţelor şi practicilor lor religioase.



palaeolithic burials, funeral offerings, anthropophagic ritual, ritual practices, the phenomenon of funeral sacredness


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