Religious Behaviour in Ancient
Societies
Rites of Passage/Initiation
Rites of Burial/Sacrifice
Sacred Art/Artefacts
Target
• I will be able to:
• Provide evidence of religious behaviour in
ancient societies from the following
Rites of Pas...
Rites of Passage/Initiation
• Life of all Individuals times of
transition/change: birth, puberty, leaving
home. Research s...
Pattern of Initiation rites
• Although these rites occur in different area
and times all follow a similar pattern:
• Separ...
Initiation Rite
• Watch the following Clip and fill in work
sheet on the Initiation Rite.

• http://www.youtube.com/watch?...
Work Sheet
• Tribe:
• Type of Initiation Rite
• Stages: Separation
•
Transition
•
Incorporation( state how each is
seen in...
Rites of Burial and Sacrifice
• Burial Rituals reveal a lot about ancient
societies view of life, death and religion.
• Th...
Moravia 1984
• Karl Maska discovered a stone age mass
grave
• 25,000-30,000 yrs old
• 18 people 10 adults/ 8 children
• Bu...
Catal Huyuk Turkey
• Neolithic Site
• Dates 6250-5400BCE
• Buried dead underneath the floors of their
houses
• Importance?
Rites of Sacrifice
• Give up something of value to the Gods
• Please God, ask for something (good
harvest), thanks giving ...
Human Sacrifice
• Mesopotamia: Tombs of Sumerian Kings
• 5,500BCE
• 68 FEMALE AND 6 MALE ATTENDANTS
FOUND IN ONE TOMB AND ...
Symbols Death
'Venus of Willendorf' is the name that was
given to a female figurine that was found
in 1908 near the town o...
'Venus of Willendorf'
• The statue was carved from oolitic limestone and was
colored with red orche. It measures 110 mm in...
Art and Artefacts
• Newgrange: was constructed over 5,000
years ago (about 3,200 B.C.), making it
older than Stonehenge in...
Newgrange
•

•

Newgrange is best known for the illumination of its passage and chamber by
the winter solstice sun. Above ...
Megalithic Art
•

The art is one of the most important features of the monuments in the
Boyne Valley. Some of it is specta...
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Religious behaviour in ancient societies

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Religious behaviour in ancient societies

  1. 1. Religious Behaviour in Ancient Societies Rites of Passage/Initiation Rites of Burial/Sacrifice Sacred Art/Artefacts
  2. 2. Target • I will be able to: • Provide evidence of religious behaviour in ancient societies from the following Rites of Passage/Initiation • Rites of Burial/Sacrifice • Sacred Art/Artefacts
  3. 3. Rites of Passage/Initiation • Life of all Individuals times of transition/change: birth, puberty, leaving home. Research shows that ancient societies marked these times with special rituals: Rites of Passage/ Initiation. • Mark a change in the individual/community
  4. 4. Pattern of Initiation rites • Although these rites occur in different area and times all follow a similar pattern: • Separation: individual is separated from tribe family etc • Transition: Ritual of transition is enacted • Incorporation: the changed Individual rejoins the group but is seen in a new way
  5. 5. Initiation Rite • Watch the following Clip and fill in work sheet on the Initiation Rite. • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81JPj8BqBB
  6. 6. Work Sheet • Tribe: • Type of Initiation Rite • Stages: Separation • Transition • Incorporation( state how each is seen in this Initiation Rite)
  7. 7. Rites of Burial and Sacrifice • Burial Rituals reveal a lot about ancient societies view of life, death and religion. • The start of the practice to bury the dead suggests the ancient societies began to place some significance on death. Rituals and practices that emerged suggested possible belief in the afterlife.
  8. 8. Moravia 1984 • Karl Maska discovered a stone age mass grave • 25,000-30,000 yrs old • 18 people 10 adults/ 8 children • Buried with ornaments and other objects • Why?
  9. 9. Catal Huyuk Turkey • Neolithic Site • Dates 6250-5400BCE • Buried dead underneath the floors of their houses • Importance?
  10. 10. Rites of Sacrifice • Give up something of value to the Gods • Please God, ask for something (good harvest), thanks giving implies belief in supernatural
  11. 11. Human Sacrifice • Mesopotamia: Tombs of Sumerian Kings • 5,500BCE • 68 FEMALE AND 6 MALE ATTENDANTS FOUND IN ONE TOMB AND SOLIDERS AND OXEN IN ANOTHER. • sacrificed to help the King in the afterlife?
  12. 12. Symbols Death 'Venus of Willendorf' is the name that was given to a female figurine that was found in 1908 near the town of Willendorf in Austria.
  13. 13. 'Venus of Willendorf' • The statue was carved from oolitic limestone and was colored with red orche. It measures 110 mm in height and is dated 30,000 and 25,000 BCE • suggestion is that it was a "Venus figure" or "Goddess," used as a symbol of fertility. Apart from being female, the statue has an enlarged stomach and breasts, its pubic area is greatly emphasized, probably serving as a representative of procreativity, and the red ochre pigment covering it has been thought to symbolize or serve as menstrual blood seen as a life giving agent. The second suggestion is that the figurine may have served as a good luck charm
  14. 14. Art and Artefacts • Newgrange: was constructed over 5,000 years ago (about 3,200 B.C.), making it older than Stonehenge in England and the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. • built during the Neolithic or New Stone Age by a farming community • Archaeologists classified as a passage tomb, however now recognised to be Ancient Temple
  15. 15. Newgrange • • Newgrange is best known for the illumination of its passage and chamber by the winter solstice sun. Above the entrance to the passage at Newgrange there is a opening called a roof-box. Its purpose is to allow sunlight to penetrate the chamber on the shortest days of the year, around December 21, the winter solstice.At dawn, from December 19th to 23rd, a narrow beam of light penetrates the roof-box and reaches the floor of the chamber, gradually extending to the rear of the chamber. As the sun rises higher, the beam widens within the chamber so that the whole room becomes dramatically illuminated. This event lasts for 17 minutes, beginning around 9am. The accuracy of Newgrange as a time-telling device is remarkable The intent of its builders was undoubtedly to mark the beginning of the new year. In addition, it may have served as a powerful symbol of the victory of life over death. a sign of nature’s rebirth and promising renewed life to crops, animals and humans., perhaps promising new life to the spirits of the dead.
  16. 16. Megalithic Art • The art is one of the most important features of the monuments in the Boyne Valley. Some of it is spectacular: wonderful combinations of spirals, lozenges, chevrons, triangles and arrangements of parallel lines and arcs. • Many people suggest that some of the spiral and concentric circles represent the movement of the sun and stars, a fascination with the changing seasons and how the cycles related to their own lives. Another theory is that the carvings on the stones are maps: maps of the area, map of the otherworld, maps of the stars • .

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