Abstract: Connecting the Dots: New Perspectives on Mobility and Gathering in Ancient Mediterranean Sanctuaries
This lecture presents results from a recently completed five-year research project on “Ancient Mediterranean Pilgrimage” that investigated journeys to sanctuaries in modern Greece, Italy, and Turkey, from the Archaic to Late Antique periods. It takes up the challenge of “connecting the dots” in the archaeology of ancient Greek and Roman sanctuaries that traditionally has focused on buildings and monuments as singular, isolated units. The lecture instead proposes to reconstruct some of the different spatial and visual strategies employed by sanctuaries to provide evocative experiences through rituals, gatherings, and landscape features. In particular, it focuses on issues of mobility to, from and within sanctuaries, for example, by means of both carefully choreographed processions and more improvised, informal gatherings. Taking inspiration from scholarship on contemporary mobilities, it asks questions, such as: How did movement within a sanctuary shape the experience of a pilgrim? And how may new approaches to space help us to identity patterns of movement as well as places of gathering within sanctuaries?
Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic:
T.M. Kristensen and W. Friese (eds.) Excavating Pilgrimage. Archaeological Approaches to Sacred Travel and Movement in the Ancient World (London 2017).
Ancient Mediterranean Pilgrimage project website: www.sacredtravel.dk