chapter  10
The Symbolic and Sacred: The House and Beyond
Pages 42

T he subject of religion and the built environment is very likely in the top three on the list of archaeological investigations of ancient architecture. An equally impressive assemblage of literature is also dedicated to the subject of sacred

places on the landscape. Attempting to capture the rich literature concerning the entirety of archaeological thinking on the intersection between humans and their sacred places, be they built or unbuilt, is simply impossible in a single chapter, and perhaps even beyond containment in an entire volume devoted to the subject. Therefore, after an initial discussion, this chapter offers a light brushstroke over the sacred landscape and the methods archaeologists have used to recognize meaningful places. This topic was addressed to some extent in chapter 2; here the focus is not on natural places that might draw one to build one’s first house, but on places constructed after permanent settlement had commenced.