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2017 Rhind Lecture 1: “Sacred Values: Medieval Archaeology and Religious Heritage”

The first 2017 Rhind Lecture entitled “Sacred Values: Medieval Archaeology and Religious Heritage” by Professor Roberta Gilchrist.

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Sacred Heritage: Archaeology, Identity and Medieval Beliefs

Medieval churches and monasteries are key features of the British landscape, contributing to local identities and sense of place. Yet the relationship between heritage and medieval religion has received relatively little critical reflection. These lectures place research on medieval beliefs within a wider framework of sacred heritage, reflecting on issues of value, authenticity and interpretation. Archaeological evidence for medieval beliefs is explored in relation to regional identity, practices of magic and healing, memory and myth. The lectures develop chronologically from the 12th century to the use of archaeology today, with case studies focusing on Scottish monasticism and Glastonbury Abbey.

Roberta Gilchrist is Professor of Archaeology and Research Dean at the University of Reading. She has published extensively on the archaeology of medieval religion and belief and their intersection with gender, magic and the life course. She has published pioneering works on medieval nunneries (1994), hospitals (1995), burial practices (2005) and popular devotion (2012), and major studies on Glastonbury Abbey (2015) and Norwich Cathedral Close (2005). She is an elected Fellow of the British Academy, a trustee of Antiquity and former president of the Society for Medieval Archaeology. She was voted Current Archaeology’s ‘Archaeologist of the Year 2016’.

Recorded on Friday 19th May 2017 at  6pm in the Auditorium of the National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh

These Rhind Lectures provided the basis for a free to view Open Access book.

Lecture 1: “Sacred Values: Medieval Archaeology and Religious Heritage”

Religious sites and material culture account for a large part of the subject matter of medieval archaeology. But the discipline seldom reflects on what these things meant to medieval people or why they continue to matter today. Why do we value, conserve and interpret medieval sacred heritage? What is the potential significance of medieval archaeology to contemporary social issues surrounding religious identity, and how does this impact on archaeology?

Recording made by Mallard Productions

Sponsored by AOC Archaeology Group

A PDF version of the programme is available here: rhinds-2017-web