Kunera - Database for late medieval badges and ampullae
Display more detailsDisplay less details
Arts and culture
Arts and culture
Key wordsPilgrim; badges; ampullae; Bruges itinenary; Miracle Book; 1000-1599
Badges and ampullae are the material witnesses to the rich and fascinating visual world of the late Middle Ages. Often only unique copies or – in rare instances – some duplicates of the same mould were passed down, even though the objects were mass-produced at the time. The material played a major part in the dissemination of imagery from the late twelfth century to the middle of the sixteenth century. From the middle of the fifteenth century, printing gradually took over. Depictions on badges and ampullae differ from Christ, Mary and the saints to utensils, plants and animals, literary and sexual subjects. In addition, the pilgrims’ souvenirs that were produced in one place and lost in another, give a perception of travel routes. Where did pilgrims go and how many miles did their travels cover? The website Kunera offers access to over 15.000 badges and ampullae of religious and profane subjects. The pilgrimage sites and the sites where the objects were found are mapped out visualizing the dissemination of the objects and the travel routes at a single glance. The goal of Kunera as a research project of the Radboud University is twofold. On the one hand, we try to increase knowledge about late medieval (pilgrimage) culture. Therefore, the registered data are accessible to a large audience of (amateur) archeologists, scientists and other interested parties. On the other hand, the database serves a documentary goal. Badges and ampullae are often produced of pewter. The material is liable to oxidation, when it is exposed to oxygen. Damage of the fragile objects is almost inevitable. Not just a registration of the material information is necessary; also the finds’ circumstances need documentation. When the objects are in private hands, data of the archeological site and provenance are often lost after time. The research team of Kunera strives to research as much badges and ampullae as possible in order to safeguard valuable details of this historically important material. The database can be found on the Kunera website.