You are here: AU » About Aarhus University » Department of Culture and Society » Research » Research programmes » Materials, Culture and Heritage

Materials, Culture and Heritage

Materials, Culture and Heritage

Archaeology and Deep History


The concern of MCH is to provide knowledge of the long-term process that creates heritage – an intriguing category that unites materials with culture in a processual and still uncharted manner.

This endeavour heeds a broad explorative approach to the ways individuals, groups and societies have engaged culturally with materials in the past and in the present, examining specific situations as well as longer term trends of what has broadly been called Deep History with archaeology as core subject area. We pay attention to the strategies that underpin human interaction with the tactile and visible world of materials resulting in their incorporation or rejection and their interpretation or dissemination. This will imply tracking cultural particularities as well as universalities to identify what is unique/shared.

Such a perspective invites collaborations, across the humanities and integrating the natural sciences, to explore how different material forms become charged with cultural properties. A central question to cope with is why some engagements with materials become cross-culturally shared and inclusive whilst others are claimed as culturally unique and in effect become exclusive and even provoke tensions, conflicts, and wars.

MCH currently operates with 10 research groups.


Søren Sindbæk and Nanna Holm at the excavation site (click for larger photo).
Ground plan of the Fyrkat Viking fortress placed on top of the Vallø ringed fortress. The red lines show the outline of the Vallø excavation (click for larger photo). © Danish Castle Centre

2014.09.05 | History and achaeology, Research, Materials, Culture and Heritage

Sensational Viking fortress discovered near Køge

In collaboration with the diocese of Vallø, archaeologists from the Danish Castle Centre and Aarhus University have discovered a previously unknown Viking fortress in a field west of Køge, Denmark. The discovery could be an important piece in Denmark’s historical jigsaw puzzle.

2014.05.08 | Materials, Culture and Heritage

Peter C. Kjærgaard: Inventing Homo gardarensis

New study of how national interests and personal ambitions have shaped human origins research in Interwar Scandinavia

Wed 06 May
14:00-17:00 | Aarhus Universitet, bygning 4206, lokale 139, foredragssalen
Ph.d.forsvar: Morten Larsen
Klosterkultur mellem ideal og realitet. Arkæologiske studier af Danmarks middelalderlige tiggerklostre
Wed 13 May
11:00-17:00 | Aarhus University, Moesgård, 4206-125
P.V. Glob Seminar of the MCH
Globalisation: glocality and transculturality in early societies
Thu 21 May
08:00-18:00 | Moesgaard Museum, Aarhus, Denmark
Digital heritage
Digital Heritage is an annual conference hosted by the Centre for Digital Heritage. This year, the conference will be taking place at the newly reopened Moesgaard Museum, Aarhus, Denmark.

Research Programme Director

Helle Vandkilde

Office: bldg. 4215-132
Phone: +45 8716 2096
Mobile: +45 21727240
Comments on content: 
Revised 2015.04.23

Aarhus University
Nordre Ringgade 1
DK-8000 Aarhus C

Tel: +45 8715 0000
Fax: +45 8715 0201

CVR no: 31119103

AU on social media