painting of a saint giving alms to pelgrims
painting of a saint giving alms to pelgrims

The medieval ritual landscape

Archaeology, material culture and lived religion
1 April 2023 until 1 April 2026
Project type

The project aims to uncover the history of ritual practices performed by ordinary people as part of their daily lives in medieval England (c. 1000-1600). Methodological innovation, combining archaeological, historical, and digital humanities analyses, will reveal original perspectives on medieval lived religion.

The project will place English archaeological finds in a comparative context with archaeological finds in the Netherlands and Denmark. To do so, it will use public documentation projects of archaeological finds such as Kunera (Radboud University) and Portable Antiquities Netherlands. This will enable a transnational analysis of European public finds, with relevance to and use of archaeological citizen science across Europe. For the first time, medieval living religion is evaluated in terms of regional differences and in periods of major change, including the Black Death and the Reformation, to provide a groundbreaking study for the analysis of European material culture.

The project is a collaboration between the University of Reading and the British Museum. The project team consists of the principal investigator, Prof Roberta Gilchrist (University of Reading), Dr Michael Lewis (head of the PAS, British Museum) and Dr Eljas Oksanen (University of Helsinki). Kunera (Radboud University) is participating in this project by providing data from the wearer signs found in Britain, Denmark and the Netherlands for comparative research. From the Netherlands, in addition to Kunera, Dr Mirjam Kars (Free University Amsterdam) and Dr Annemarieke Willemsen (Dutch National Museum of Antiquities), are involved in the project.

Read more about Kunera


  • University of Reading, UK
  • British Museum, UK
  • University of Helsinki, Finland
  • Free University Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • Dutch National Museum of Antiquities, the Netherlands

Contact information