Ancient Sacred Places in Lithuania: Crossroads of Geography, Archaeology and Folklore
This article addresses the current stage of research on Lithuania’s ancient sacred places. Numerous examples and discussions prove that these are cases for cross-disciplinary investigation. Although they are different, all the geographical, archaeological, linguistic and folklore aspects are important, and urgently require careful consideration, both by analysis and synthesis. The article discusses the Lithuanian term senoji šventvietė (‘ancient sacred place’) and difficulties concerning the current understanding of it.
The division of sacred places into areas is presented from a geographical point of view; historical factors are mentioned, as well. Attention is drawn to the local geographical features of sacred places, such as, for instance, their association with the points of the compass. The amount of archaeological stray finds with respect to sacred places is discussed. Finally, some important details are pointed out, while presenting research into place names and folklore associated with sacred places.
Vaitkevičius, Vykintas. “Ancient Sacred Places in Lithuania: Crossroads of Geography, Archaeology and Folklore”. Archeologia Baltica 15. Klaipėda, 2011. p. 45-55.