Chairs | Friedrich SCHIPPER, Austria |

Ecclesiastical buildings and relicts are the most common surviving late roman and medieval monuments and are usually the oldest surviving buildings in today’s cities. Their very specific development mirrors in many cases the changing history of a whole settlement.
Cathedrals, churches and abbeys (intact or ruined) are among our most treasured historic assets. Unfortunately, a detailed study of Ecclesiastical Archaeology remains exceptional and limited in scope. The archaeological study and conservation of ecclesiastical buildings and their content as well as burial grounds, earthworks and landscapes, provide a unique insight into our past. It is a field of research equally shared by archaeologist and historians.
For this session we are searching for papers about new innovative excavations in or around ecclesiastical monuments. We want you to present research strategies and focus on methodical questions as:

+ Baseline survey
+ investigations on development
+ Research projects

and also about the research aims such as

+ Continuity and discontinuity of religious sites
+ Development of the early ecclesiastical building
+ Interaction of church/religious buildings and surrounding area
+ In many cases the remains of a building beneath a church are identified as remnants of a church themselves even without sufficient and critical research on the archaeological facts.    The main question is if this ill-conceived identification is justified or mere suspicion. What kind of archaeological evidence has the potential to turn non reflected prejudice into well proved research result?