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Biblical Archaeology Review 48:4, Winter 2022

Sacred Souvenirs

Remembering Holy Land Places

By Katharine D. Scherff

I own a small fragment of fresco from a small Romanesque church in Lleida, Spain, which is among the oldest Catalonian municipalities. I picked it up from a pile of rubble at my feet as I sat on a church bench, enchanted by the melancholy beauty of the place and the musky smell of the warm summer air, plaster, stone, and incense that lingered in the air. Apparently dislodged from the painted ceiling, it is not even 2 inches long but always reminds me of my trip.

Acting as a relic, my innocent pilfering aids in reconstructing my journey, the churches visited, discussions with people, and meals shared.

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