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Forging Identity and Shifting Boundaries

The Role of the Smiths within the Changing Religious Landscape of Early Medieval European Societies

The research to be carried out during the project will continue on-going investigations into the interaction between the Germanic and Mediterranean cultures in Late Antiquity, focusing specifically on the material evidence of such contacts as can be established by archaeological evidence. Within this framework it will be looked into the religious role of the blacksmiths in Germanic societies (by exploring certain burial rituals, as well as narrative sources) and transformations of this role both within those cultures and the Mediterranean ones during a period of vivid contacts between the two, set in motion with a greater intensity than ever before during the Migration Period. While the focus of the study will be the period of Late Antiquity, evidence from this period will be set against the background of traditions explored in their long durée.