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Les armes dans les eaux : Questions d'interprétation en archéologie
[Weapons in Water: Questions of Interpretation in Archeology]
2013, Paris : Errance
For people in the Iron Age, it was traditional to sacrifice weapons to aquatic deities. Evidence for this tradition comes from the many weapons found in lakes, rivers and swamps. The legend of King Arthur tells how the sword Excalibur is handed back to the Lady of the Lake. But does this pleasing intellectual construction, as taught in our schools, have any basis in truth?
For two years in a row, at the Bibracte Museum, archeologists and an ethnologist met to exchange their points of view. The resulting interpretations of these mysterious deposits varied greatly: were they voluntary offerings to water gods? ordinary losses or shipwrecks? the residue of battles?
This work is the first to examine systematically all the hypotheses capable of explaining these recurrent historical phenomena dating from the Neolithic to the present day. This book also provides a systematic examination of the different arguments that can be advanced for or against these hypotheses.
Reading these stimulating texts, we learn that evidence can turn out to be misleading, that we must be skeptical of things we discover and even of things we thought we knew.

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