In Search of the Meaning Within
This section essentially covers the issues in assembling the book and the aims of the project. A critical review of recent literature related to ancient ontologies, neo-animism, and perspectivism is provided as general background to the volume, and each contribution is briefly presented. The specific questions contributors aim to address are based on ascertaining the extent to which modern archaeology and related disciplines can hope to reconstruct pre-Columbian ritual behaviors. How should we undertake the daunting task of interpreting these remains of ritual activity? How are we to accurately comprehend the social significance of certain artifacts both portable and immobile—beyond any practical use? How can we decode sacred images, and interrogate them so that they may inform us about the societies that produced and disseminated them?
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