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THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF PILGRIMAGE: ABU MINA AND BEYOND

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image of Late Antique Archaeology

Christian pilgrimage offers a unique insight into popular piety in Late Antiquity. However, our sources for pilgrimage, both literary and archaeological, vary widely in quality and volume, and modern scholarship has often depended heavily on the evidence from particular wellknown sites, most notably the sanctuary of St Menas at Abu Mina in Egypt. This site has revealed a remarkable density of archaeological remains, not only buildings but also the production and circulation of a wide variety of pilgrim souvenirs. Yet it is essential that we move beyond the sanctuary of St Menas and compare the evidence from Abu Mina with that from other major pilgrimage sites in the eastern Mediterranean. As we shall see in this paper, there is no simple pattern in organisation or souvenir production that can be identified in the archaeology of late antique pilgrimage.

10.1163/22134522-90000138
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2010-01-01
2016-12-04

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