Past events

Myers Lecture - Ken Dark
Friday 30 September 2016, 05:00pm - 08:00pm
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will be given by

Dr Ken Dark, University of Reading

Returning to the Caves of Mystery: archaeology and the origins of Christian pilgrimage

Friday 30 September 2016, at 5pm (approximately) in the Stevenson Lecture Theatre, Clore Education Centre, the British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG.

The lecture will be preceded by the RAI’s AGM. All are welcome to the AGM; only RAI Fellows may vote.

Pilgrimage plays an important part in the anthropological study of religious practice and the perception of sacred space. Anthropologically-informed archaeology can contribute a much greater time-depth to this, illuminating the development of pilgrimage centres, landscapes, and ritual, within their wider social, economic and cultural contexts, over centuries or even millennia. This lecture presents a new analysis of the earliest known Christian pilgrimage sites in the Late Roman Holy Land, suggesting a previously-overlooked category of places of worship preceding their Byzantine churches. Discussing the cultural, economic, and societal contexts of these is a starting point for exploring ways in which they may relate to currently existing beliefs and perceived landscapes. This, in turn, offers new perspectives on a range of themes from religious architecture to the changing relationships between political authority and local, once-marginalised, communities.

This event is free, but tickets must be booked.  To book tickets please go to

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