Nara to Norwich: the Arrival of Belief, religion and archaeology at the extremities of the Silk Roads AD 500-1000

Kaner, Simon ORCID: and Hutcheson, Andrew ORCID: (2019) Nara to Norwich: the Arrival of Belief, religion and archaeology at the extremities of the Silk Roads AD 500-1000. In: Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference, 2019-12-16 - 2019-12-18, UCL.

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This paper will discuss a wide-ranging comparative study of the material cultures and landscapes associated with the adoption of Buddhism in Japan and Korea and the conversion to Christianity around the North Sea. We are embarked on a comprehensive reassessment of the historical and archaeological evidence for the spread of these two religions into regions at either end of the Eurasian landmass. In both places there were existing beliefs with time-depth that can only be explored archaeologically. Shinto in Japan flourished alongside Buddhism throughout the long history of the Japanese state and was closely connected with the deification of the Imperial Family. We will examine the evidence from the sacred Island of Okinoshima, off the coast of Kyushu, and compare it with archaeological sites around the North Sea where pre-Christian religious activity is inferred to have taken place. Clearly religion around the North Sea and understanding the associated beliefs is elusive. Votive offerings and structured deposits in both situations offer insights into the materiality of belief. A comparative approach, used reflexively, we argue, has the potential to offer insights into belief and intention. How the two religions affected state formation and gave rise to new forms of monumentality is also being explored in this work, with the abandonment of mounded tombs in favour of other types of burial practices and the development of temples, churches and urban forms. The role and impact of monasticism and the clergy will be examined through the nature and materiality of early monastic life, including the gendering of religious experience

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of History

Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Interdisciplinary Institute for the Humanities
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Centres > Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Centre for Japanese Studies
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2019 01:28
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2023 05:30

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