Ancient civilisations exercise an intense fascination for people the world over. This Handbook provides a vivid, scholarly, and eminently readable account of ancient cultures around the world, from China to India, the Middle East, Egypt, Europe, and the Americas. It examines the development of religious belief from the time of the Palaeolithic cave paintings to the Aztecs and Incas. Covering the whole of society not just the elite, the Handbook outlines the history of the different societies so that their religion and culture can be understood in context. Each chapter includes discussion of the broad field of relevant studies alerting the reader to wider debates on each subject. An international team of scholars convey their own deep enthusiasm for their subject and provide a unique study of both popular and 'official' religion in the ancient world.