Gender and Material Culture is the first complete study in the archaeology of gender, exploring the differences between the religious life of men and women. Gender in medieval monasticism influenced landscape contexts and strategies of economic management, the form and development of buildings and their symbolic and iconographic content. Women's religious experience was often poorly documented, but their archaeology indicates a shared tradition which was closely linked with, and valued by local communities. The distinctive patterns observed suggest that gender is essential to archaeological analysis.
Roberta Gilchrist is a reader in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Reading, and consultant archaeologist to Norwich Cathedral. She has written widely on the topics of gender and church archaeolgy.
'This is an intriguing and truly interesting book' - Antiquity
'This book fills a major gap, and is published at a moment when there is considerable new interest in the monastic architecture of women ... [Gilchrist establishes] the issue of women's archaeology within the wider context of cultural and social analysis.' - Carolone Bruzelius, Director, American Academy in Rome
'Roberta Gilchrist has introduced a new dimension into this area of study, and ably demonstrated how an analysis of material culture can inform our knowledge of the gendered identities of both female and male religions.' - Gender & History Journal
'An impressive synthesis of evidence and interpretation' - Times Higher Education Supplement
'Her multidisciplinary approach and clear theoretical background inspire new paths for research and interpretation of both old and new archaeological and historical data' - Archaeology Ireland