Université de Bordeaux
LabEx LaScArBxCluster of Excellence
Cluster of excellence

ARCHIDATE - Early Christian Religious Architecture and new ways for Dating

projet porté par : Petra Urbanová

durée : 12 mois

financement : 61 145 €

partenaires : AUSONIUS

mots clés : Dating, building archaeology, Early Middle Ages


Accurate dating of early Christian churches represents still today a challenge in the history of Europe. Establishing a solid chronological framework for the origins and early development of individual Christian monuments is a key point for their contextualization and hereby for the elaboration of renewed historical interpretations on development and expansion of Christianism.

This project aims at the integration of novel dating methodology into archaeology of buildings. It mainly focuses on analyses of mortar as an omnipresent and non-recyclable building material, and so the most convenient element for dating of historical constructions. We suggest integrating an innovative, recently validated protocol for dating historical mortar through optically stimulated luminescence using « single grain technique » into archaeological research at an European scale.

Through collaborations with medieval archaeologists in different parts of ancient Roman empire, bibliographic study of local literature and visits of the sites of interest, the goal of the preparatory project is to create a corpus of alleged early Christian monuments of debatable chronology that will form together a meaningful historical background.

The latter will be then involved in the new ERC project aiming to test the hypothesis on pre-Constantinian churches, to better understanding the progressive expansion of Christianism, its rhythm and influences across western Europe and to create a cultural heritage itinerary reinforcing the sense of collective cultural memory. By profound inter-connection of archaeology, history, archaeometry and physics, we suggest to set a new interdisciplinary working model for archaeology of buildings, introducing new dynamics in cultural heritage studies.

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