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2017 Rhind Lecture 3: “Medicine for the Soul: the Archaeology of Monastic Healing”

The third 2017 Rhind Lecture entitled “Medicine for the Soul: the Archaeology of Monastic Healing” 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 will 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 will be 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.

Recorded on Saturday 20th May 2pm at the National Museums Scotland Auditorium, Edinburgh.

Lecture 3: “Medicine for the Soul: the Archaeology of Monastic Healing”

This lecture reviews archaeological evidence for therapeutic treatments in monastic and hospital infirmaries in medieval Britain. How did monastic ideas about the body and soul influence treatment of the medieval sick? Can we detect regional differences and chronological traditions in monastic healing?

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’.

Recording made by Mallard Productions

Sponsored by AOC Archaeology Group