• Coins and Cosmologies in Iron Age Western Britain

      Pudney, Caroline; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2018-06-27)
      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 garden as a laboratory: the role of domestic gardens as places of scientific exploration in the long 18th century

      Hickman, Clare; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2014-06-24)
      Eighteenth-century gardens have traditionally been viewed as spaces designed for leisure, and as representations of political status, power and taste. In contrast, this paper will explore the concept that gardens in this period could be seen as dynamic spaces where scientific experiment and medical practice could occur. Two examples have been explored in the pilot study which has led to this paper — the designed landscapes associated with John Hunter’s Earl’s Court residence, in London, and the garden at Edward Jenner’s house in Berkeley, Gloucestershire. Garden history methodologies have been implemented in order to consider the extent to which these domestic gardens can be viewed as experimental spaces.
    • The household inventory as urban 'theatre' in late medieval Burgundy

      Wilson, Katherine A.; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2015-07-16)
      In 1413 at the death of his wife Guillemot, Jean Aubert, a group of witnesses and a clerk of the local mayoralty met to value the possessions of their residence, resulting in an inventory full of notes and values on rooms and their objects. Within the existing historiography of the Burgundian Netherlands and its Northern European neighbours, inventories and their objects tend to be analysed from two perspectives: the Burgundian court and the ‘consumer revolution’. Applying insights from Erving Goffman and Bruno Latour, this article suggests a third perspective should have priority: the urban ‘theatre’ within which objects were documented and placed. Therefore it sets up an alternate methodology which begins with the inventory to build a picture of the theatre (the urban context and residence), the actors (the Aubert family) and the audience (the witnesses of the inventory) to establish new insights on the operation of Burgundian power and the dynamics of the ‘consumer revolution’.
    • Mapping ‘Wordsworthshire’: A GIS Study of Literary Tourism in Victorian Lakeland

      Donaldson, Christopher; Gregory, Ian; Murrieta-Flores, Patricia; University of Birmingham; Lancaster University; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2015-08-14)
      This article answers the call for scholarship that models the implementation of geographic information systems (GIS) technologies in literary-historical research. In doing so, it creates a step change to the integration of digital methodologies in the humanities. Combining methods and perspectives from cultural history, literary studies, and geographic information sciences, the article confirms, challenges, and extends understanding of Victorian literary tourism in the English Lake District. It engages with the accounts of several nineteenth-century tourists, paying specific attention to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s English Notebooks and Hardwicke Drummond Rawnsley’s A Coach Drive at the Lakes, which are examined alongside contemporaneous guidebooks and other commercial tourist publications. In the process, the article draws attention to a spatial correlation between the route of the Ambleside turnpike (the Lake District’s principal coach road) and the major literary sites to which Victorian Lakeland visitors were guided. Recognizing this correlation, we contend, helps to deepen our appreciation of how the physical and imaginative geographies of the Lake District region interrelate. Specifically, it helps us appreciate how the Victorian fascination with the Lakeland’s literary associations was modulated not only by interest in the region’s other attractions, but also by material conditions on the ground.
    • A Place to Rest Your (Burnt) Bones? Mortuary Houses in Early Anglo-Saxon England

      Meyers Emery, Kathryn; Williams, Howard; George Eastman Museum; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2017-10-05)
      This article presents a fresh interpretation of square and rectangular mortuary structures found in association with deposits of cremated material and cremation burials in a range of early Anglo-Saxon (fifth-/sixth-century AD) cemeteries across southern and eastern England. Responding to a recent argument that they could be traces of pyre structures, a range of ethnographic analogies are drawn upon, and the full-range of archaeological evidence is synthesized, to re-affirm and extend their interpretation as unburned mortuary structures. Three interleaving significances are proposed: (i) demarcating the burial place of specific individuals or groups from the rest of the cemetery population, (ii) operating as ‘columbaria’ for the above-ground storage of the cremated dead (i.e. not just to demarcate cremation burials), and (iii) providing key nodes of commemoration between funerals as the structures were built, used, repaired and eventually decayed within cemeteries. The article proposes that timber ‘mortuary houses’ reveal that groups in early Anglo-Saxon England perceived their cemeteries in relation to contemporary settlement architectures, with some groups constructing and maintaining miniaturized canopied buildings to store and display the cremated remains of the dead.
    • ‘Proud to be British; and proud to be Jewish’: The Holocaust and British values in the twenty-first century

      Critchell, Kara; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2018-10-05)
      As we approach the post-witness era this paper investigates the changing role of the Holocaust and Holocaust survivors in twenty-first century British politics and culture. In the first part, the article discusses the ways in which, through their role in educational initiatives and commemorative culture, survivors have acquired an increased visibility in British understandings of the Holocaust. For a significant period of time, this process was characterized by a tendency to abstract survivors from their Jewish identities to ensure that they could more easily act as mediators of a universalized, yet highly domesticated, Holocaust narrative with meanings for contemporary British society. However, in the second part the article will argue that, starting from the second decade of the twenty-first century, it is also possible to discern an increasing acknowledgement of British Holocaust survivors’ ‘difference.’ It will be suggested that British politicians have attempted to mobilize survivors, the Anglo-Jewish community they are seen to represent, and the Holocaust more in general, in Britain’s domestic battle against Islamic extremism and in the pursuit of the rather elusive concept of ‘British values.’
    • 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.
    • The Smiling Abbot: Rediscovering a Unique Medieval Effigial Slab

      Williams, Howard; Smith, Gillian; Crane, David; Watson, Aaron; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2017-11-06)
      The article reports on a newly re-discovered fragment of a recumbent effigial slab commemorating Abbot Hywel (‘Howel’), most likely an abbot of the Cistercian house of Valle Crucis, near Llangollen (Denbighs.). The slab was probably carved very early in the fourteenth century, and could have covered the abbot’s burial place. The stone was dislocated and fragmented at an unknown point in the abbey’s history, and most likely removed from the site during the nineteenth-century clearance of the abbey ruins. It was briefly reported on in 1895 and has been lost to scholarship subsequently. If indeed from Valle Crucis, the stone is the only known effigial slab commemorating a Cistercian abbot from Wales, and a rare example from Britain. Given that few similar Cistercian abbatial monuments have been identified from elsewhere, the ‘Smiling Abbot’, although only a fragment, is a significant addition to the known corpus of later medieval mortuary monuments. The article discusses the provenance, dating, identification and significance of the monument, including the abbot’s distinctive smile. The stone sheds new light on mortuary and commemorative practice at Valle Crucis Abbey in the early fourteenth century.
    • 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.
    • ‘A Spectacle for the Cameras’: The survival of a Lakeland leisure tradition, 1930- c.1955

      Andrew, Rebecca; University of Chester
      This article examines the survival of rushbearing, a rural leisure tradition in the English Lake District. As a region popular with tourists throughout the 20th century, this case study offers important insights into how their presence shaped this ‘traditional’ leisure activity. Not only did annual rushbearing ceremonies offer opportunities for the region’s sense of place to be presented to outsiders, they were also an important way for local communities to reaffirm their connection to the Lake District and its past. These occasions were, however, increasingly influenced by an awareness of external influences and outside judgements, as the region’s popularity as a tourist destination boomed from the inter-war years. Although youth culture was increasingly standardised at a national level during this period, at a local level, young countrymen and women played an integral role in rushbearing’s survival, which promoted an idealised version of ‘traditional’ country life. This annual community event is therefore a useful example through which to examine the interplay between rural leisure traditions, tourism, and the role of young people in the countryside during this period.
    • 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.
    • Viking Mortuary Citations

      Williams, Howard; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2016-07-06)
      Introducing the European Journal of Archaeology’s special issue ‘Mortuary Citations: Death and Memory in the Viking World’, this article outlines the justification and theoretical framework underpinning a new set of studies on Viking-age mortuary and commemorative practice as strategies of mortuary citation. The contributions to the collection are reviewed in relation to strengths and weaknesses in existing research and broader themes in mortuary archaeological research into memory work in past societies.