The first workshop of the Unlocking Sacred Landscapes Network was entitled Spatial Analysis of Ritual and Cult in the Mediterranean and was held at Trinity College Dublin from 15 to 17 May, 2015, with the support of the Irish Research Council, the Trinity Long Room Hub, the A.G. Leventis Foundation, the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies, and the Centre for Mediterranean and Near Eastern Studies in Trinity College Dublin.
This first workshop focused on both inter- and intra-site spatial analysis of ritual and cult. The terms ritual and cult are used broadly to include sanctuaries, as well as domestic and funerary spheres of life. It included papers with a strong methodological focus on spatial analysis and using case studies from across the Mediterranean. We were interested in investigating the interaction between political and religious structures, as expressed in sacred landscapes and space. In addition, moving beyond elite and political structures, focus was also given to human experience of the numinous in the creation of personal spiritual identities.
In particular, the papers presented dealed with:
(1) The placement of ritual and cult in the broader landscape as revealed from inter-site analysis of cult places,
(2) The expression of elite and non-elite religious identities as revealed from the intra-site spatial analysis of the material expression of ritual and cult,
(3) The expression of personal and communal identities as revealed from the intra- and inter-, micro- and macro-site analysis of ritual and cult,
(4) The employment of textual evidence, iconography and art-historical approaches when investigating the spatial dimension of ritual and cult,
(5) Mythology and the spatial dimension of ritual and cult,
(6) Computational developments (e.g. Geographic Information Systems and Geomatics Digitisation, Space Syntax, 3D modelling) of sacred landscapes and ritual space,
(7) Phenomenological, performative and experiential analyses to sacred landscapes and ritual space, and
(8) The transformation processes of sacred landscapes and ritual space.
The papers of the Workshop will be published in the form of a peer-reviewed, edited collection of studies in the Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology Series (Åström Editions).
Download the Programme and Abstracts of the Workshop.
Participation was aimed at researchers and professionals actively engaged in related areas.