• Introspection and the Self in Early Modern Spiritual (Auto) Biography

      Hillman, Jennifer; University of Chester (Bloomsbury, 2020)
      This chapter will explore the intersections between memory, introspection and selfhood in spiritual biographical and autobiographical texts produced in France over the long eighteenth century. This chapter uses case studies from eighteenth-century France to destabilise teleological narratives surrounding the emergence of selfhood and subjectivity in the eighteenth century and its association with modernity and secularisation.
    • The Power of Textiles. Tapestries of the Burgundian Dominions (1363-1477)

      Wilson, Katherine A.; The University of Chester (Brepols, 2019-01-01)
      Textiles were of fundamental importance to medieval polities and princes across Europe, economically and culturally. Tapestry was at the top end of the luxury textile market but was used by urban inhabitants and nobles. The Burgundian Dominions were the foremost producer of tapestry in the Middle Ages. However, the documentary evidence for the supply and suppliers of the textiles to the Burgundian dynasty, its many functions, and its re-use and repair, is understudied. This monograph explores a range of documentary evidence (ducal accounts, ducal and household inventories) to examine the suppliers of the textile to the Burgundian dynasty, its forms, functions and users, its role in gift-giving strategies, and patterns of re-use and repair. Thus, the book offers a contribution to the historical understanding of textiles as objects that contributed to the projection of social status and the cultural construction of power in the Burgundian polity.
    • Writing a Spiritual Biography in Early Modern France: The 'Many Lives' of Madeleine de Lamoignon

      Hillman, Jennifer; University of Chester (Duke University Press, 2019-01-01)
      In the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, four different spiritual biographers wrote the "life" of the recently deceased lay dévote, Madeleine de Lamoignon (1609-1687). Each of these authors was seeking to compose a spiritual biography - an account of Madeleine's devotional life - and they were all penned with the distant prospect of beatification or canonisation in mind. This article analyses these four retellings of Madeleine's life in order to excavate the process of writing vitae, and situates this within the broader context of lay spiritual biography in early modern France. It is argued here that a comparative exploration of Madeleine de Lamoignon's "lives" reveals different, and sometimes competing, conceptions of lay female sanctity in the Counter-Reformation era. Ultimately, the article contends that by turning our attention to neglected biographies of lay women, scholars might better understand how a life outside of the cloister could be reconciled with saintliness.
    • St Guthlac and the ‘Britons’: a Mercian context

      Capper, Morn; University of Chester (Paul Watkins, 2019)
      Article analysing evidence for relations between Anglo-Saxon Mercia and the British peoples of the seventh-century west midlands during the lifetime of Guthlac, saint of Crowland and during the construction of his biography and cult in the early eighth century. Publisher Shaun Tyas: 1 High St, Donington, Spalding PE11 4TA
    • Kingship, Society, and the Church in Anglo-Saxon Yorkshire

      Pickles, Thomas; University of Chester (Oxford University Press, 2018-11-15)
      A monograph about the relationship between social and political structures, conversion to Christianity, and the building of an institutional Church in Yorkshire from c. 450-c. 1066.
    • Belgian Refugees in Cheshire: 'Place' and the Invisibility of the Displaced

      Ewence, Hannah (Taylor and Francis, 2018-10-24)
      The First World War centenary has invigorated research into the Belgian refugee presence, especially at the local level. However, as this article argues, the responses which Belgians elicited locally, as well as the ‘quality’ and longevity of the memory culture surrounding them, was intimately tethered to ideas about and experiences of ‘place’ during the war and after. Exiled Belgians were almost uniquely positioned to communicate the totality of war as well as stand as silent representatives of the trauma of displacement. Yet this case study of the North West county of Cheshire demonstrates how wartime tragedy with regional consequences, as well as a preoccupation with combatant internees and casualties, eclipsed the everyday reality and the post-war memory of the Belgians.
    • Death in the Contemporary World: Perspectives from Public Archaeology

      Williams, Howard; University of Chester (JAS Arquelogia SLU, 2018-10)
      This Introduction to AP’s third special issue seeks to provide context and rationale to the study of ‘public mortuary archaeology’ before reviewing the development of the volume. Building on the presentations of the first Public Archaeology Twitter Conference of April 2017, these articles comprise a wide range of original analyses reflecting on the public archaeology of death. In addition to evaluations of fieldwork contexts, churches and museums, there are discussions of the digital dimensions to public mortuary archaeology, an appraisal of ancient and modern DNA research as public mortuary archaeology, and an evaluation of the relationship between mortuary archaeology and palliative care. Together, the articles constitute the state of current thinking on the public archaeology of death, burial and commemoration.
    • Translational Public Archaeology? Archaeology, social benefit, and working with offenders in Wales (Part 2)

      Pudney, Caroline; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2018-06-05)
      This article reports on a second case study in the relationship between archaeology and social benefit through working with young offenders in Wales. Whereas a previous article (Pudney 2018), focused on the MORTARIA Project - an archaeological education project engaging adult offenders in South Wales - this study explores the distinctive methods and challenges faced by the subsequent Heritage Graffiti Project (HGP). This project faced similar, but also different, experiences to MORTARIA, involving different skills and technologies, as well as specific artistic engagement with place. The article considers the effectiveness of the HGP before reflecting on the two projects’ shared implications for future, translational public archaeology projects that wish to work with offenders.
    • Furnishing the Dukes with a Royal Reputation. The use of chambers and chapels at the Burgundian Court

      Wilson, Katherine A.; University of Chester (University of Leuven Press, 2018-06)
      This article examines the way in which the dukes of Burgundy used chambers and chapels to legitimise their right to rule and to suggest that they could lay claim to a royal crown.
    • Humans in the Environment: Plants, Animals and Landscapes in Mesolithic Britain and Ireland

      Overton, Nick J.; Taylor, Barry; University of Manchester; University of Chester (Springer, 2018-05-29)
      Environmental archaeology has historically been central to Mesolithic studies in Britain and Ireland. Whilst processual archaeology was concerned with the economic significance of the environment, post-processual archaeology later rejected economically driven narratives, resulting in a turn away from plant and animal remains. Post-processual narratives focused instead on enigmatic ‘ritual’ items that economic accounts struggled to suitably explain. Processual accounts of landscapes, grounded in economic determinism, were also rejected in favour of explorations of their sociocultural aspects. However, in moving away from plant and animal remains, such accounts lacked the ability to rigorously explore the specificities of particular landscapes and humans actions within them. This paper will bridge this gap by considering how palaeoecological and zooarchaeological analyses can be used to explore human interactions with plants and animals, which were key in developing understandings and relationships that ultimately structured landscapes, influenced past human actions and shaped archaeological assemblages.
    • Care in the countryside: the theory and practice of therapeutic landscapes in the early twentieth-century

      Hickman, Clare; University of Chester (University of Hertfordshire Press, 2018-05-01)
      In 1945 Jane Whitney, when writing her biography of Geraldine Cadbury visited the Cropwood Open-Air School in Blackwell and described how ‘the sleep-time garden might be the envy of princes, with its fountain in the midst of a green lawn, so that the children took their naps amid the soothing, somnolent plash of falling water’. This evocative description of a princely garden gives an indication of the attention and importance given to gardens associated with such institutions in the early decades of the twentieth-century (Figure 8.1). Cropwood (opened in 1922) was just one of a number of open-air schools and hospitals operating at this time in Blackwell, near Bromsgrove, in the West Midlands. The open-air approach to treating chronic diseases such as tuberculosis became popular in the late nineteenth and early twentieth-century in Britain. It encouraged inmates to spend as much time as possible in the fresh air and sunshine, as both were considered to have curative properties. The 1937 Ordnance Survey (OS) Map depicts a cluster of such institutions - along with Cropwood these were: Hunters Hill Open-Air School (opened 1933), The Uplands (Children’s Convalescent Home, opened 1923), Burcot Grange (annexe to Birmingham and Midland Eye Hospital, opened 1936) and the Birmingham and Midland Counties Sanatorium, which became known as the Blackwell Convalescent Home (opened on this site in 1873) (Figure 8.2, 8.3). This chapter will explore this cluster but focus in detail on the gardens associated with Cropwood and the Blackwell Convalescent Home. In particular it will aim to unpick the design and use of these gardens in relation to contemporary medical and social ideas. In so doing, it will illuminate the connections between garden history and histories of health care, which is a growing research area. Historians that have explored this connection in relation to designed green spaces include myself and Sarah Rutherford. Medical historians, particularly Andrew Scull and Linda Bryder, have discussed the hospital landscape in relation to issues such as economics and national efficiency. Similarly, cultural geographers have taken an interest in the concept of ‘therapeutic landscapes’, including the work of Chris Philo on asylums, Hester Parr on mental health and space, and Wil Gesler, who originally coined the term.
    • The resilience of postglacial hunter-gatherers to abrupt climate change

      Blockley, Simon; Candy, Ian; Matthews, Ian; Langdon, Pete; Langdon, Cath; Palmer, Adrian; Lincoln, Paul; Abrook, Ashley; Taylor, Barry; Conneller, Chantal; Bayliss, Alex; MacLeod, Alison; Deeprose, Laura; Darvill, Chris; Kearney, Rebecca; Beavan, Nancy; Staff, Richard; Bamforth, Michael; Taylor, Maisie; Milner, Nicky; Royal Holloway (University of London), Royal Holloway (University of London), Royal Holloway (University of London), University of Southampton, University of Southampton, Royal Holloway (University of London), Royal Holloway (University of London), Royal Holloway (University of London), University of Chester, University of Manchester, Historic England, University of Reading, Lancaster University, University of Manchester, University of Oxford, Kenepuru Science Center, University of Oxford, University of York, University of York, University of York (Nature Publishing Group, 2018-03-23)
      Understanding the resilience of early societies to climate change is an essential part of exploring the environmental sensitivity of human populations. There is significant interest in the role of abrupt climate events as a driver of early Holocene human activity, but there are very few well-dated records directly compared with local climate archives. Here, we present evidence from the internationally important Mesolithic site of Star Carr showing occupation during the early Holocene, which is directly compared with a high-resolution palaeoclimate record from neighbouring lake beds. We show that, once established, there was intensive human activity at the site for several hundred years when the community was subject to multiple, severe, abrupt climate events that impacted air temperatures, the landscape and the ecosystem of the region. However, these results show that occupation and activity at the site persisted regardless of the environmental stresses experienced by this society. The Star Carr population displayed a high level of resilience to climate change, suggesting that postglacial populations were not necessarily held hostage to the flickering switch of climate change. Instead, we show that local, intrinsic changes in the wetland environment were more significant in determining human activity than the large-scale abrupt early Holocene climate events.
    • Socio-semiotics and the symbiosis of humans, horses, and objects in later Iron Age Britain

      Pudney, Caroline; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2018-03-14)
      Using an approach derived from material culture studies and semiotics, this paper addresses possible relationships between humans and horses in the British Iron Age.Through a study of the dominance of horse imagery found on Iron Age British coinage, specifically the Western coinage traditionally attributed to the 'Dobunni', the author explores how it may reflect possible relationships between humans and horses and their personhood therein. Drawing on wider faunal and metalwork evidence it is argued that these coins could be interpreted as a manifestation of the complex perspectives surrounding a symbiotic relationship between humans and horses.
    • Subsistence, environment and Mesolithic landscape archaeology

      Taylor, Barry; University of Chester (Cambridge University Press, 2018-02-07)
      Since the 1970’s research into Mesolithic landscapes has been heavily influenced by economic models of human activity where patterns of settlement and mobility result from the relationship between subsistence practices and the environment. However, in reconstructing these patterns we have tended to generalise both the modes of subsistence and the temporal and spatial variability of the environment, and ignored the role that cultural practices played in the way subsistence tasks were organised. Whilst more recent research has emphasised the importance that cultural practices played in the way landscapes were perceived and understood, these have tended to underplay the role of subsistence and have continued to consider the environment in a very generalised manner. This paper argues that we can only develop detailed accounts of Mesolithic landscapes by looking at the specific forms of subsistence practice and the complex relationships they created with the environment. It will also show that the inhabitation of Mesolithic landscapes was structured around cultural attitudes to particular places and to the environment, and that this can be seen archaeologically through practices of deposition and recursive patterns of occupation at certain sites.
    • Curiosity and Instruction: British and Irish Botanic Gardens and their Audiences, 1760–1800

      Hickman, Clare; University of Chester (White Horse Press, 2018-02)
      The physic garden, associated with medical institutions and predominantly for the purpose of training medical students, or for the growing of commercial drugs by apothecaries, was transformed across Europe in the late-eighteenth century. New botanic gardens were created that were organised for the benefit of new audiences extending beyond medical students to those interested in botanical science, agricultural improvements and seeing at first-hand new botanic introductions from around the globe.
    • Romans and reducing recidivism: Archaeology, social benefit, and working with offenders in Wales (Part 1)

      Pudney, Caroline; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2018-01-30)
      Claims that public and community archaeology can help ‘change lives’ have recently come under criticism. Challenging these critiques, this article explores how archaeology can be socially beneficial in the rehabilitation of offenders. Using a case study from South Wales, the article demonstrates how a prison-based outreach project can offer an innovative trajectory for public archaeology, highlighting the links between archaeology and political agendas. The article challenges the concept of ‘archaeologist-as-social-worker’ and considers the successes and limitations of such an approach, including the challenges of measuring impact. Ultimately, it demonstrates that archaeology-based activities can provide positive life experiences for offenders but only through a successful partnership between heritage and offender management specialists, as part of a wider programme of support and intervention.
    • Rhynie: New Perspectives on Settlement in Pictland in the 5th and 6th centuries AD and the Context of Pictish Symbol Stones

      Gondek, Meggen M.; Noble, Gordon; University of Chester, University of Aberdeen (Braunschweigisches Landesmuseum, 2018-01-10)
      This paper offers and update on work at the important high status Pictish site at Rhynie, Aberdeenshire. It highlights the excavation results and puts these into context and examines how the Pictish symbol stones on site may have been key features of this high status secular and ritual complex.
    • Being Mesolithic in life and death

      Cobb, Hannah; Gray Jones, Amy; University of Manchester; University of Chester (Springer International Publishing, 2018)
      Fifty years ago approaches to Mesolithic identity were limited to ideas of man the hunter, woman the gatherer, and evidence of non-normative practice was ascribed to "shamans" and to "ritual", and that was that. As post-processual critiques have touched Mesolithic studies, however, this has changed. In the first decade of the 21st century a strong body of work on Mesolithic identity in life, as well as death, has enabled us to think beyond modern western categories to interpret identity in the Mesolithic. Our paper reviews these changing approaches, offering a series of case studies of such approaches, before developing these case studies to advocate an assemblage approach to identity in the Mesolithic.
    • Coins and Cosmologies in Iron Age Western Britain

      Pudney, Caroline; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2018)
      Using an approach derived from material culture studies and semiotics, this speculative paper addresses possible relationships between humans and horses in the British Iron Age. Through a study of dominance of horse imagery found on Iron Age British coinage, specifically the Western coins traditionally attributed to the ‘Dobunni’, the author explores what these coins may be able to inform us regarding the possible relationships between humans and horses and their personhood therein. Drawing on wider evidence including faunal remains and other horse-related metalwork, it is argued that these coins could be interpreted as a manifestation of the complex perspectives surrounding a symbiotic relationship between humans and horses.
    • The application of micro-Raman for the analysis of ochre artefacts from Mesolithic palaeo-lake Flixton

      Needham, Andy; Croft, Shannon; Kröger, Roland; Robson, Harry K.; Rowley, Charlotte C. A.; Taylor, Barry; Gray Jones, Amy; Conneller, Chantal; University of York; University of Chester; University of Manchester (Elsevier, 2017-12-20)
      Ochre is an important mineral pigment used by prehistoric hunter-gatherers across the globe, and its use in the Mesolithic is no exception. Using optical microscopy and Raman spectroscopy with micrometre spatial resolution (micro-Raman), we present evidence that confirms unambiguously the use of ochre by hunter-gatherers at Mesolithic sites surrounding Palaeo-Lake Flixton, Vale of Pickering, North Yorkshire, UK. Our results suggest that people collected ochre and processed it in different ways, likely for diverse purposes. The quality and specificity of chemical characterisation possible with micro-Raman facilitates new avenues for further research on ochreous materials in Britain, including provenancing through chemical ‘fingerprinting’.