This volume sheds new light on the significance and meaning of material culture for the study of pilgrimage in the ancient world, focusing in particular on Classical and Hellenistic Greece, the Roman Empire and Late Antiquity. It thus discusses how archaeological evidence can be used to advance our understanding of ancient pilgrimage and ritual experience. The volume brings together a group of scholars who explore some of the rich archaeological evidence for sacred travel and movement, such as the material footprint of different activities undertaken by pilgrims, the spatial organization of sanctuaries and the wider catchment of pilgrimage sites, as well as the relationship between architecture, art and ritual. Contributions also tackle both methodological and theoretical issues related to the study of pilgrimage, sacred travel and other types of movement to, from and within sanctuaries through case studies stretching from the first millennium BC to the early medieval period.
List of figures
Notes on contributors
1. Introduction: Archaeologies of pilgrimage
Wiebke Friese and Troels Myrup Kristensen
2. Inter-cultural pilgrimage, identity, and the Axial Age in the ancient Near East
3. Collective mysteries and Greek pilgrimage: The cases of Eleusis, Thebes and Andania
4. Of piety, gender and ritual space: An archaeological approach to women’s sacred travel in Greece
5. The pilgrim’s passage into the sanctuary of the Great Gods, Samothrace
6. Pilgrimage and procession in the Panhellenic festivals: Some observations on the Hellenistic Leukophryena in Magnesia-on-the-Meander
7. Palimpsest and virtual presence: A reading of space and dedications at the Amphiareion at Oropos in the Hellenistic period
8. Roman healing pilgrimage north of the Alps
9. Visiting the ancestors: Ritual movement in Rome’s urban borderland
10. The pilgrim and the arch: Paths and passageways at Qal’at Sem’an, Sinai, Abu Mina, and Tebessa
Ann Marie Yasin
11. Movement as sacred mimesis at Abu Mena and Qal’at Sem’an
12. The allure of the saint: Late antique pilgrimage to the monastery of St Shenoute
13. Excavating Meriamlik: Sacred space and economy in late antique pilgrimage
Troels Myrup Kristensen
14. Pilgrimage and multi-religious worship: Palestinian Mamre in Late Antiquity
15. Excavating pilgrimage
16. Pilgrimage progress?
Jan N. Bremmer
The public prominence of religion has increased globally in recent years, while places associated with religion, such as pilgrimage centers, and famous cathedrals, temples and shrines, have attracted growing numbers of visitors and media attention. Such developments are part of a global process where different forms of travel – physical movement such as labor and lifestyle migration, tourism of various forms, the cultural heritage industry and pilgrimage – have become a major feature of the modern world. These translocal and transnational processes involve flows of not just people but also material objects, ideas, information, images and capital.
The public prominence of religion aligned to the modern growth of tourism (sometimes now claimed as the world’s single largest industry) has created a new dynamic relationship between religion, travel and tourism. It has been mirrored by expanding academic research in these areas over the last twenty years across a variety of disciplinary areas, ranging from anthropology, sociology, geography, history and religious studies to newly emergent areas such as tourism and migration studies. Such studies have also expanded exponentially in terms of the geographic spread of places, religions and regions being researched.
This series provides a new forum for studies based around these themes, drawing together research on the relationships between religion, travel and tourism. These include studies from global and cross-cultural perspectives of topics, such as: