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David Pettegrew
Messiah College (Mechanicsburg, PA 17055-6706)
The Archaeology of the Early Christian World: History, Methods, Evidence

Research and writing for a book on the archaeological history of Early Christianity.

This project explains how archaeological approaches, practices, and evidence shape historical interpretations of the early Christian world. Scholars have often viewed archaeology as a tool for generating extraordinary discoveries to authenticate, challenge, or illustrate the histories and theologies of the early church. This work considers how the more common but less spectacular findings of archaeological field research, including ceramic assemblages, stratified deposits, and surface remains, are gradually changing our picture of the social and economic life of Christian communities of the ancient Mediterranean and Near East between the first and seventh centuries CE. In its emphasis on processes and practices, the book fills a gap in Anglophone scholarship for a critical explanation of the archaeology of this world religion and an accessible introduction to a subject often sensationalized in popular media.

Project fields:
Ancient History; Archaeology; History of Religion

Public Scholars

Research Programs

$60,000 (approved)
$60,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2021 – 12/31/2021