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Seven million kroner awarded to research on pilgrimage in the ancient world

Assistant Professor Troels Myrup Kristensen has received DKK 7m from the Danish Council for Independent Research Sapere Aude career programme to support his research on the cultural history and social significance of pilgrimage in the period from classical Greek antiquity to Late Antiquity (approximately 500 BCE to approximately 700 CE).

2012.10.08 | Anja Kjærgaard

'Pilgrimage has previously been studied from exclusively Christian and to a lesser extent Islamic perspectives, and primarily on the basis of written sources. Our work will contribute new insights on this religious phenomenon by focussing on the material and visual dimensions of pilgrimage, as well as examining it from a more long-term perspective. The many archaeological finds from pilgrimage sites have traditionally been published in specialised publications which do not situate them in a social and religious context,' explains Dr Kristensen.

One of the objectives of the project, which includes researchers form England, the United States and Germany in addition to Denmark, is thus to place this large body of archaeological finds in a larger context, which will cast new light on the cultural history and social significance of pilgrimage over  period of more than a thousand years.

Profile: Dr Troels Myrup Kristensen

Dr Troels Myrup Kristensen is an assistant professor in classical archaeology with special emphasis on the archaeology of Late Antiquity as well as Greek and Roman religion and society.  His doctoral dissertation was entitled Archaeologies of Response: Christian Destruction, Mutilation and Transformation of Roman Sculpture (2009 and currently in press as a book). Dr Kristensen explored Christians' relationship to images in Late Antiquity in his dissertation by attempting to understand the social contexts in which Christians destroyed images and defining the role played by these acts in the shifts in power which took place in Late Antiquity as a consequence of Christianity's new position as state religion.

Read an interview with Dr Kristensen (in Danish)

SapereAude grants awarded to ten researchers at AU

Ten AU researchers will receive DKK 79m out of a total of DKK 210m in grants this year. Read more about the other grant recipients at AU.