- Copyright Page
- List of Contributors
- The Archaeology of Early Christianity: The History, Methods, and State of a Field
- Archaeology of the Gospels
- New Testament Archaeology Beyond the Gospels
- The Catacombs
- Burials and Human Remains of the Eastern Mediterranean in Early Christian Context
- The Archaeology of Early Monastic Communities
- Baptisteries in Ancient Sites and Rites
- Baths, Christianity, and Bathing Culture in Late Antiquity
- The Art of the Catacombs
- Visual Rhetoric of Early Christian Reliquaries
- An <i>Anarchéologie</i> of Icons
- Spolia and the “Victory of Christianity”
- Early Christian Mosaics in Context
- Amulets and the Ritual Efficacy of Christian Symbols
- Christian Archaeology in Palestine: The Roman and Byzantine Periods
- The Church of the East Until the Eighth Century
- The Holy Island: An Archaeology of Early Christian Cyprus
- Asia Minor
- Community, Church, and Conversion in the Prefecture of Illyricum and the Cyclades
- The Early Christian Archaeology of the Balkans
- The Archaeology of Early Italian Churches in Context, 313–569 CE
- The Christianization of Gaul: Buildings and Territories
- Britain and Ireland, 100–700 CE
- Christian Landscapes in the Iberian Peninsula: The Archaeological Evidence (Fourth–Sixth Centuries)
- Incorporating Christian Communities in North Africa: Churches as Bodies of Communal History
- Archaeology of Early Christianity in Egypt
Abstract and Keywords
Since the Renaissance, archaeology has played a significant albeit changing role in illuminating the history of early Christianity. This chapter surveys different historical approaches to archaeological investigations of Christianity, from early efforts to authenticate or disprove the traditions and practices of the Catholic church to the development of the field of early Christian archaeology in continental Europe and through to more recent efforts to reconstruct the social and economic contexts of early Christian sites and landscapes between the first and eighth centuries. This chapter offers a state of the field, highlighting the positive achievements of archaeologists over the last two centuries and drawing attention to problems of method, interpretation, and approach that modern scholars are working to correct. It recommends repositioning the field within the disciplinary framework of archaeology itself while also encouraging fruitful interdisciplinary conversation.
William R. Caraher, Associate Professor of History, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota, USA.
David K. Pettegrew, Professor of History and Archaeology, Messiah College, Grantham, Pennsylvania, USA.
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