- 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
Churches have been the subject of archaeological examination since the sixteenth century. As the most monumental expression of Christianity, they represent complex religious and societal ideologies, rooted in Jewish concepts of the synagogue and messianic kingship. The institution of the church was initially viewed as both a physical local body and a global spiritual kingdom, and these notions eventually became symbolized by architecture. In Christianity’s first three centuries, a variety of buildings could accommodate Christian congregations. During the emperor Constantine’s reign, the basilica became the most prestigious form of church and, by the end of the seventh century, was commonplace in Europe, North Africa, and western Asia. Churches were not just assemblages of various materials; they also housed burials, shrines, artifacts, and artistic programs. Archaeology examines how and when churches were designed, constructed, and changed, and how they contributed to the wider society.
Charles Anthony Stewart, Associate Professor of Medieval Art and Architecture, University of St. Thomas, Houston, Texas, USA.
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