Archaeologies of Cult: Essays on Ritual and Cult in Crete in Honor of Geraldine C. Gesell (Hesperia Supplement 42), edited by Anna Lucia D’Agata and Aleydis Van de Moortel, can now be added to the corpus of studies on the much-debated aspect of religion in Iron and Bronze Age Cretan life. Twenty-eight former students and colleagues contribute articles in honor of Geraldine C. Gesell, an archaeologist and pioneer in the field of religious cults. Among the variety of approaches presented here, many make reference to the “goddess with upraised hands,” a ubiquitous figurine in Crete that was central to a number of Gesell’s many books and articles. The methodological approaches and focal points of the contributors are diverse. The first section of this volume deals with ritual actions: the deposition of objects such as vessels and figurines, the veneration of naturally occurring objects (ecofacts), and harvest rites. The second sets forth the places where these actions took place, shrines and sanctuaries. The nature of the objects of ritual practice are discussed, many unpublished finds. A return to the aspect of place conveys the significance of sacred peaks, the siting of sanctuaries upon them, and the importance of their intervisibility. A combined bibliography, with publication dates from 1900 to forthcoming, indicates the copious scholarship on this contentious aspect of Cretan studies.
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