Sinister and Righteous: Interpreting Left and Right in the Archaeological Record | BERGHAHN BOOKS
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Sinister and Righteous: Interpreting Left and Right in the Archaeological Record

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Sinister and Righteous

Interpreting Left and Right in the Archaeological Record

C. Riley Augé

210 pages, 34 ills., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-80539-777-9 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Not Yet Published (December 2024)

eISBN 978-1-80539-779-3 eBook Not Yet Published

View CartYour country: - edit Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“This manuscript, that treats cross-cultural meanings of left and right handedness and symbolism, is important for interpreting archaeological evidence, including anthropomorphic designs, human burials, house organization, and artifacts. The text provides an excellent overview of the literature on left and right symbolism in human societies past and present.” • Joel Palka, Arizona State University

“This authoritative work draws together the major concepts, particularly those relating to gender, mortuary rites, sacred space and cosmology in a form that is readily usable by students and scholars.” • Alison Grierson-Brookes, Freelance Archaeologist


In recent years, archaeologists have begun to consider the potential for left and right positioning of elements in the material record to reveal cultural ideas about gender, identity, authority, worldviews, and belief systems. This research demonstrates the ubiquitous, but often overlooked, occurrence of material culture meaningfully arranged according to deeply entrenched left and right concepts and is the first to bring together and expand upon these cultural ideologies. Archaeological examples provide archaeologists with insight and guidance for recording, analyzing, and interpreting any left and right elements or associations present in the imagery, features, artifacts, and landscapes of their study sites.

C. Riley Augé holds a PhD in Cultural Heritage Studies and Applied Anthropology with an Archaeology emphasis and a Master’s degree in Mythology and Folklore. She has recently retired from the University of Montana where she was the curator of the Anthropological and Archaeological collections and instructor of courses in Myth, Ritual and Religion; Archaeology; and Artifact Analysis, to devote more time to her research on the material expression of traditional beliefs. Her publications include The Archaeology of Magic and The Field Manual for the Archaeology of Ritual, Religion, and Magic.

Subject: ArchaeologyCultural Studies (General)


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