Bärenkult in urgeschichtlicher Zeit

Up to now anthropologists have taken for granted that a bear cult, which is common in recent hunting communities, was already practised in the middle Palaeolithic period. The current hypothesis of the existence of an ancient bear cult is based partly on discoveries, but mainly on ethnographic analog...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Zeitschrift für Religionswissenschaft
Main Author: Wunn, Ina 1954-
Format: Electronic Article
Language:German
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Published: 2012
In:Zeitschrift für Religionswissenschaft
Year: 1999, Volume: 7, Issue: 1, Pages: 3-24
Online Access: Volltext (Verlag)
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Summary:Up to now anthropologists have taken for granted that a bear cult, which is common in recent hunting communities, was already practised in the middle Palaeolithic period. The current hypothesis of the existence of an ancient bear cult is based partly on discoveries, but mainly on ethnographic analogies. However, the discussion of religious customs among recent hunter-gatherers proves that what remains of the practice of their cult differs markedly from the fossil remains found in the Mousterien bear caves. An examination of the fossil bone formations from a palaeontological point of view makes clear that supposed ancient bear cult sites are bone beds of natural origin. The characteristic appearance of the sites is a result of the activities of the bears themselves and of geological and sedimentary processes.
ISSN:2194-508X
Contains:In: Zeitschrift für Religionswissenschaft
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1515/0030.3