The Sacred Profane: Distribution, Production, Use and Meaning of Objects Associated With Pilgrimage From Present-Day Denmark

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


ARTEFACTUAL FINDS ARE A SPECIAL and growing source of evidence for ritual behaviour in medieval daily life. They include items that relate to pilgrimage which are considered here. The increase in finds in recent decades in Denmark yields a more detailed picture of the role of these objects in their
time than it has previously been possible to draw. This article presents the relevant data from the area of present-day Denmark with analyses of the range of finds, geographical distribution, travelling, signs of local manufacture, and the use and significance of such items. The employment of these objects is clearly more complex and bears the marks of greater continuity than thought hitherto. From their first appearance among the finds and in the sources in the 11th century to the end of the Middle Ages, they were attributed with intrinsic protective powers which could be introduced into various contexts to the benefit of the individual and of society. Throughout the period, artefacts relating to pilgrimage were multifunctional objects with innate power that derived from their origin, designs and symbolism. As practical objects for everyday ritual use, they were sometimes handled roughly which should be taken into consideration when interpreting find circumstances and secondary traces of wear.
TidsskriftMedieval Archaeology
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)398-431
Antal sider33
StatusUdgivet - 7 dec. 2023


  • pilgrimsvæsen
  • middelalderarkæologi
  • detektorfund
  • Rituel praksis
  • Gravfund