ONLINE: HelRAW: Patrik Klingborg 7.12.2020

The Helsinki Research on the Ancient World (HelRAW) is a monthly research seminar. HelRAW is organized by the SpaceLaw project together with the Digital Grammar of Greek Documentary Papyri (PapyGreek) project.

7.12.2020 at 17:15
Meeting ID: 
690 0894 3890
Passcode: 716216

Patrik Klingborg (Swedish Institute at Athens and Uppsala University): Utilitarian uses of water in Greek sanctuaries

A reliable water supply is necessary for human survival and well-being. This need is particularly acute in the seasonally warm and dry Mediterranean climate, and it is, consequently, unsurprising that remains of extensive water supply infrastructure have been found at many Greek sanctuaries. Individuals visiting these sites, and often staying some time, would require water for a number of everyday activities, e.g. drinking, cooking and washing. Despite this, modern scholarship has largely ignored practical needs for water at Greek sanctuaries. Instead, water supply infrastructure has regularly been interpreted in terms of the religious significance of water, in particular for rituals of purification, cleaning of cult images and healing. The aim of this paper is to move away from the focus on water in Greek sanctuaries as used for activities where it played a central religious function and instead explore other, pragmatic, forms of water usages at these sites. What non-ritual activities in Greek sanctuaries required water, when and how much?

Patrik Klingborg is the Assistant Director at the Swedish Institute at Athens and a post-doc researcher at the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Uppsala University.