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Amulets and the Ritual Efficacy of Christian Symbols  

Rangar H. Cline

Online publication date:
Jan 2019
Although “magical” amulets are often overlooked in studies of early Christian material culture, they provide unique insight into the lives of early Christians. The high number of amulets ... More

An Anarchéologie of Icons  

Glenn Peers

This chapter examines the development of a distinctive early Christian genre: the icon. It does so by taking a relatively unknown, but important, example of a devotional panel in a U.S. ... More

The Archaeology of Early Christianity: The History, Methods, and State of a Field  

William R. Caraher and David K. Pettegrew

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 ... More

Archaeology of Early Christianity in Egypt  

Darlene L. Brooks Hedstrom

This chapter discusses the evolution of scholarly interest in Christian antiquities in Egypt after 1900. The archaeology of early Christianity developed much later than the field of ... More

The Archaeology of Early Italian Churches in Context, 313–569 CE  

Alexandra Chavarría Arnau

The archaeology of early Christian churches has made important advancements in recent decades in Italy thanks to a large number of new excavations and scientific meetings, as well as the ... More

The Archaeology of Early Monastic Communities  

Darlene L. Brooks Hedstrom

Online publication date:
Jan 2019
This chapter discusses new developments in the field of monastic archaeology and the archaeology of early monastic settlements. The presence of monastic communities in documentary and ... More

Archaeology of the Gospels  

James F. Strange

Online publication date:
Jan 2019
This chapter discusses the archaeology of the New Testament as applied to Jesus and the gospels. The aim is to create a reliable social, economic, and material history of the origins and ... More


Christina Maranci

The fourth to seventh centuries were formative in the art and culture of Armenia. This era witnessed the conversion of the land to Christianity, the invention of the Armenian alphabet and ... More

The Art of the Catacombs  

Fabrizio Bisconti

The art of the catacombs was born in Rome between the second and third centuries and is manifested especially in the pictorial decorations of the cubicula and other hypogeal environments. ... More

Asia Minor  

Peter Talloen

The early Christian archaeology of Asia Minor has recently developed into a discipline devoted to the contextualized study of the material remains of early Christianity. It has ... More

Baptisteries in Ancient Sites and Rites  

H. Richard Rutherford

Online publication date:
Jan 2019
The archaeology of ancient Christian baptisteries, purpose-built venues for the initiation of new Christians, opens new avenues to study early Christianity. Through consideration of ... More

Baths, Christianity, and Bathing Culture in Late Antiquity  

Dallas DeForest

Online publication date:
Jan 2019
Public bathing remained integral to social and daily life throughout Late Antiquity. This chapter explores how Christians used and received baths at this time by addressing the complex ... More

Britain and Ireland, 100–700 CE  

David Petts

This chapter reviews the evidence for the archaeology of early Christianity in Britain and Ireland. Here, the church had its origins in the areas that lay within the Roman Empire in the ... More

Burials and Human Remains of the Eastern Mediterranean in Early Christian Context  

Sherry C. Fox and Paraskevi Tritsaroli

Online publication date:
Jan 2019
This chapter examines the contribution of the contextual study of human skeletal remains of Early Christian burials in the eastern Mediterranean. Bioarchaeological studies of sites in ... More

The Catacombs  

Vincenzo Fiocchi Nicolai

Online publication date:
Jan 2019
The Roman catacombs, dated to the early third century, are characterized by regular plans that made the best use of available space. In the late third and fourth centuries, the catacombs ... More

Christian Archaeology in Palestine: The Roman and Byzantine Periods  

Joan E. Taylor

The first Christian archaeological evidence in Palestine dates from the third century, in the so-called Megiddo church. From 326 onward, Palestine was the focus of imperial funding, and ... More

Christian Landscapes in the Iberian Peninsula: The Archaeological Evidence (Fourth–Sixth Centuries)  

Alexandra Chavarría Arnau

This chapter traces the material evidence for the spread of Christianity in the Iberian peninsula (including Spain and Portugal) between the third and seventh centuries, focusing on a ... More


Sam Turner

Print publication date:
Oct 2011
Online publication date:
Sep 2012
This article provides an overview of archaeological approaches to Christianity and outlines some potentially fruitful avenues for future research and discovery. As such it is divided into ... More

The Christianization of Gaul: Buildings and Territories  

Bastien Lefebvre

Based on recent archaeological excavations, this chapter presents an overview of the Christianization of Gaul through buildings and topography. Over the last few decades, our knowledge of ... More

The Church of the East Until the Eighth Century  

Stefan R. Hauser

Online publication date:
Jan 2019
For a long time, the development of Christian communities within the Sasanian and early Islamic Empires was either neglected or described in terms of a history of persecution and ... More