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Material Religion

Research in ancient material religion involves studying the material, visual and other sensory aspects of ancient cults and rituals, including sacred objects (e.g. statues of divinities, votive offerings, curse tablets), temple buildings and sanctuaries, and human and animal bodies. The Department of Classical Studies is the home of The Baron Thyssen Centre for the Study of Ancient Material Religion, which supports activities and research projects in the areas of Greek, Etruscan and Roman material religion, often working in collaboration with the Department of Religious Studies.

Research projects:

Selected recent publications:

Reassembling Religion in Roman Italy (2020-11-10)
Graham, Emma-Jayne
ISBN : 9781138282711 | Publisher : Routledge

Hand in hand: Rethinking anatomical votives as material things. (2020-04-06)​
Graham, Emma-Jayne​
In: Gasparini, V; Patzelt, M; Raja, R; Rieger, A-K; Rupke, J and Urciuoli, E eds. Lived Religion in the Ancient Mediterranean World: Approaching Religious Transformations from Archaeology, History and Classics (pp. 209-236)​
ISBN : 978-3-11-055757-2 | Publisher : De Gruyter

Tiny and Fragmented Votive Offerings from Classical Antiquity (2019-01-03)​
Hughes, Jessica​
In: Martin, S. Rebecca and Langin-Hooper, Stephanie M. eds. The Tiny and the Fragmented : Miniature, Broken, or Otherwise Incomplete Objects in the Ancient World (pp. 48-71)​
ISBN : 9780190614812 | Publisher : Oxford University Press | Published : Oxford​


Dr Eleanor Betts
Dr Emma-Jayne Graham
Dr Valerie Hope
Dr Jessica Hughes
Professor Phil Perkins
Dr Alexandra Wilding

Current and recent research students:

Mirjam von Bechtholsheim, Ritual and Identity: British Collections of Bronze Figurines from First-Millennium-BC pre-Roman Italy

Shirley Elderfield, Sensing the Oracle: a Druid Key to Intersensoriality at Dodona

Stuart McKie, The Social Significance of Curse Tablets in the Latin West (2017)

Adam Parker, Magic in Roman Britain

Barbara Roberts, Amulets, their makers, and the spread of ideas in the later Roman Empire

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