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2017 Rhind Lecture 5: “Monastic Legacies: Memory and the Biography of Place”

The fifth 2017 Rhind Lecture entitled “Monastic Legacies: Memory and the Biography of Place” 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.

Recorded on Sunday 21st May 2017 at 2pm in the Auditorium of the National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh

Lecture 5: “Monastic Legacies: Memory and the Biography of Place” by Professor Roberta Gilchrist, University of Reading

Monasteries were active in creating ritual landscapes as imagined spaces, interweaving myth and hagiography with material practices to embody memory and the medieval sense of place.  These meanings, in turn, were reworked as post-Reformation narratives which operated at local and national scales.  This lecture introduces the theme of memory in the monastic landscape, before considering a case study of Glastonbury Abbey in detail.

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