Session: #379

Theme & Session Format

4. Globalisation and archaeology
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

The Interaction between Nomadism and Sedentism: An Approach through Religious Practices and Beliefs
Throughout history, the continuum between nomadism and sedentism encapsulates humans’ relations in constant negotiation. Belief systems and religious practices played an important role at the junction of these two lifestyles, engaging shared and opposed sacred values at each interaction. Even though, the structure of belief systems and its physical translation have been central in the archaeological narrative, a thick veil still persists on its fundamental participation in the mediation between nomadic and settled lifeways.
This session seeks to explore the role of religion, its practices and institutions, in mobile contexts (nomadism, pilgrimage, etc.) and the establishment of more permanent sites. We will discuss the influence of religion on the formation of cities and urban life and its significance on the (re-)formation of encultured landscapes via pilgrimage routes, settlements, monuments, and other ritual nodes doting the lands. Thereby, we will reflect on the religious impact on the concepts of mobility and permanency, through an archaeological, historical, and ethnographical lens.
Following a global and asynchronous perspective, the aims of the session are a) to approach this phenomenon via different angles, from material culture to sacred architecture to its inscription into the physical and cultural landscapes, and b) to explore the place of the sacred and the profane in this negotiation across different fields, such as political, economic, cultural, or religious. We invite contributions from across the disciplinary spectrum, ranging from anthropological and socio-economic approaches to historical foci, on one of the following themes: 1- religion, urbanism, and nomads; 2- sacred monumentality from pilgrimage to lieux de mémoire; and 3- encultured landscapes: a hierophanic appropriation.
Nomadism, Sedentism, Religion, Urbanism, Monuments, Encultured Landscapes
Session associated with MERC:
Session associated with CIfA:
Session associated with SAfA:
Session associated with CAA:
Session associated with DGUF:
Session associated with other:


Main organiser:
Jonathan Ethier (Germany) 1
Samara Broglia de Moura (France) 2,3,4
1. Institute of Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology, CAU Kiel
2. Centre de recherche sur les civilisations de l'Asie orientale (CRCAO, UMR 8155)
3. Archéologies et Sciences de l'Antiquité (ArScAn, UMR 7041)
4. École Pratique des Hautes Études - EPHE/PSL, Paris