Ritual practices in the Neolithic and Eneolithic in Slovakia


TÓTH Peter

Year of publication 2019
Type Chapter of a book
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description Cult practices go through almost all aspects and activities of human life in Prehistory. Therefore it is almost impossible to separate everyday life from ritual practices. Nearly all artifacts preserved up-today are in some way connected with spiritual belief. The terms ‘ritual find’ and ‘sacred belief’ (and their derivatives) will be used to characterize artifacts and phenomena, which are unique or unusual and probably fell outside everyday life, as well as finds related to Prehistoric art (Kalicz – Raczky 1987, 22). Changing climate conditions after the last ice age slowly paved the way for new subsistence strategies in the Neolithic – agriculture. However, these significant changes were preceded by the most fundamental one. It was the radical change of thinking, which enabled the spread of a new ideology that connected Central Europe with the Balkans and further with the Near East. In the center of sacred belief was fertility, regular rhythm of natural cycles and an infinite alteration of life and death closely connected with it. Ritual practices changed in the Eneolithic. This transformation reflected new situation in society and economy, in which man becomes a central element. Maternity cults are gradually pushed into the background as new components emerge (Podborský 2006, 201; Neustupný 2008, 11). Individual examples of ritual practices were chosen in order to illustrate a very diverse and manifold belief system of a man 7 500–4 300 years ago (fig. 1). Since most of finds and find circumstances with possible ritual context are known from settlements, the presented text will mainly focus on this aspect of human activities.
Related projects:

You are running an old browser version. We recommend updating your browser to its latest version.