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The Claimed Pasts research group addresses larger societal and historical backdrops against which materials become desired historical objects. How are objects and artefacts made relevant as “knowledge carriers” about the past? What purposes do the forming, forging, retaining, choosing, trading, storing, categorizing, interpreting, and displaying of these knowledge carriers serve, and who is involved in the process?

How are cultural objects appropriated and circulated transnationally and how do they find entry into collections and institutions? How and when, and within which power asymmetries do scholars, curators, and archivists make knowledge?

We seek to investigate institutions such as universities, museums, and archives as places of knowledge production. The premises for decolonization of knowledge in institutions, their collections, holdings and archives, thus becomes a relevant aspect in the research of Claimed Pasts.


  • History of Knowledge and Science
  • Critical Provenance Studies
  • Migration
  • Use of History, Representation of the Past
  • Looting, Iconoclasm, Destruction, Trafficking, and Illicit Trade in Cultural Objects
  • Object Biographies
  • Cultural Policies, Heritage Management, Collection Management, and Repatriation
  • History of Institutional Knowledge: Museums, Archives, Universities, Collections

Relevant PhD programme

  • PhD course HP-602-1: Critical Knowledge and Heritage Production in History to be held in the fall semester (organized by Christa Wirth and Josephine Munch Rasmussen): September 23 and 24, 2020, and October 9, 2020


Korsvoll, Nils Hallvard. The (Continued) Online Trade of Aramaic Magic Bowls from Iraq. Journal of Art Crime 2020 23 (spring): 17-31.

Rasmussen, Josephine Munch. Regulating the Import and Export of Cultural Objects in Norway. Background and Challenges. I: Working With Cultural Objects and Manuscripts: Provenance, Legality, and Responsible Stewardship. Helsinki: Suomen Museoliitan 2020.

Prescott, Christopher; Rasmussen, Josephine Munch. Exploring the “Cozy Cabal of Academics, Dealers and Collectors” through the Schøyen Collection. Heritage — Open Access Journal of Knowledge, Conservation and Management of Cultural and Natural Heritage 2020 Volume 3.(1) p. 68-91.

Justnes, Årstein; Rasmussen, Josephine Munch. Hazon Gabriel: A Display of Negligence. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (BASOR) 2020; Volume 384.

Justnes, Årstein; Rasmussen, Josephine Munch; Lied, Liv Ingeborg; Grønli, Kristin S. Bibelsk svindel gav smertefull sjølvransaking. Forskninsetikk [Business/trade/industry journal] 2020.

Justnes, Årstein. Nabonidus, Prayer of (4Q242/4QPrNab). I: T&T Clark Encyclopedia of Second Temple Judaism Volumes I and II. Bloomsbury T&T Clark 2020.

Kjeldsberg, Ludvik A. Christian Dead Sea Scrolls? The post-2002 Fragments as Modern Protestant Relics. I: The Museum of the Bible: A Critical Introduction. Lexington Books 2019

Wirth, Christa. Jocano’s Digging for a Pre-Colonial Past at Santa Ana in Manila: Nation-Building at the Nexus of the Cold War and Decolonization. Asian Studies: Journal of Critical Perspectives on Asia 2019; Volume 55. p. 150-155.

In the media

Korsvoll, Nils Hallvard. Bibelforsking anno 2020: Forfalskingar og svindel. Blogg: Akademiet for yngre forskere, forskning.no 2020.

Rasmussen, Josephine Munch; Prescott, Christopher. Schøyens bortforklaringer om Taliban Når noe virker for godt til å være sant, er det som oftest det. Morgenbladet 2020.

Rasmussen, Josephine Munch; Prescott, Christopher. Schøyen har en systematisk historie med å kjøpe tvilsomme varer. Morgenbladet 2020. 

David, Ariel; Justnes, Årstein. After Dead Sea Forgeries Exposed, How Do We Know the Scrolls in Israel Are Authentic? Haaretz 2020.

Grønli, Kristin Straumsheim; Justnes, Årstein. Bibelsk svindel gav smertefull sjølransaking. Forskningsetikk [Business/trade/industry journal] 2020.

Justnes, Årstein; Greshko, Michael.Exclusive: 'Dead Sea Scrolls' at the Museum of the Bible are all forgeries. National Geographic [Internet] 2020.

Justnes, Årstein; Guttormsen, Arne.Oxford-professor arrestert for bibeltyveri. Vårt Land 2020.

Justnes, Årstein; Kleivan, Nikolai Melamed. Er dette forfalskeren?. Morgenbladet 2020.

Kleivan, Nikolai Melamed; Justnes, Årstein. Løgner avslørt på bibelmuseum. Morgenbladet 2020.

Larsen, Arne Martin; Justnes, Årstein. Forskning med store medieoppslag. uia.no 2020.

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