University of Hertfordshire

By the same authors

'Ritual Litter' Redressed

Research output: Book/ReportBook

View graph of relations
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages76
ISBN (Electronic)9781108954761
ISBN (Print)9781108949644
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2022

Publication series



Ritual deposition is not an activity that many people in the Western world would consider themselves participants of. The enigmatic beliefs and magical thinking that led to the deposition of swords in watery places and votive statuettes in temples, for example, may feel irrelevant to the modern day. However, it could be argued that ritual deposition is a more widespread feature now than in the past, with folk assemblages – from roadside memorials and love-lock bridges, to wishing fountains and coin-trees – emerging prolifically worldwide. Despite these assemblages being as much the result of ritual activity as historically deposited objects, they are rarely given the same academic attention or heritage status. As well as exploring the nature of ritual deposition in the contemporary West, and the beliefs and symbolisms behind various assemblages, this book explores the heritage of the modern-day deposit, promoting a renegotiation of the pejorative term ‘ritual litter’.


© Ceri Houlbrook 2022.

ID: 25860900