Catholic Pilgrimage in Medieval Spain

Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History is in the news as part of a team exploring Catholic pilgrimage in Medieval Spain

December 10, 2017

Dr. Patrick Roberts of the Department of Archaeology, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History has teamed up with Patxi Pérez Ramallo of the Universidad del País Vasco to look into the development of one of the earliest major pilgrim routes in Europe, the 9th century AD Camino de Santiago. Known in English as the ‘Way of St James’ this pilgrimage network spanned the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, and beyond, bringing Medieval pilgrims to the cathedral of the Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, northwestern Spain. The team, led by Dr. Ramallo, are applying ancient DNA analysis, stable isotope analysis, radiocarbon analysis, and osteological work to burials found at the Santiago de Compostela and other key pilgrimage centres in northern Spain in order to better understand the timing and nature of the formation of this network. In addition, the researchers hope to place travelling pilgrims in their Medieval cultural contexts, documenting the proportion and status of pilgrims in Spanish Medieval towns and burial contexts from the 9th to the 11th century AD. This work has been covered in regional and national Spanish papers and it is hoped that it will yield results of European significance.

More information (in Spanish) can be found at the following links:

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