• From Archaeo-Engage to Arts of Engagement

      Williams, Howard; University of Chester (Archaeopress, 2019-11-27)
      The chapter outlines the rationale for the 2nd University of Chester Archaeology Student Conference – Archaeo-Engage: Engaging Communities in Archaeology. It serves as a companion chapter to this book’s Introduction. It reviews and contextualises the student presentations and keynote talks in relation to key current debates in public archaeology, and explains the journey towards publication incorporating student contributions and those by heritage professionals and academics. In doing so, the chapter provides a practical reflection on how undergraduate student work can contribute to current public archaeological investigations and debates.
    • Public Archaeology: Arts of Engagement

      Williams, Howard; Ezzeldin, Afnan; Pudney, Caroline; University of Chester (Archaeopress, 2019-11-21)
      How should communities be engaged with archaeological research and how are new projects targeting distinctive groups and deploying innovative methods and media? In particular, how are art/archaeological interactions key to public archaeology today? This collection provides original perspectives on public archaeology’s current practices and future potentials focusing on art/archaeological media, strategies and subjects. It stems from the 2nd University of Chester Archaeology Student Conference, held on 5 April 2017 at the Grosvenor Museum, Chester: Archaeo-Engage: Engaging Communities in Archaeology.
    • Dialogues with early medieval ‘warriors’

      Williams, Howard; Alexander, Rachel; University of Chester (Archaeopress, 2019-11-21)
      How are early medieval graves interpreted by community archaeology projects? This chapter considers how the well-known and innovative Operational Nightingale project has distinctively deployed the excavation and analysis of early Anglo-Saxon (later 5th and 6th-century AD) furnished graves, including those containing weaponry, in its practice and public engagement. In light of recent discussions regarding the ideological, social, educational and emotional significances of the archaeological dead, we consider Operation Nightingale’s well-received practical and interpretative dialogues with the dead during the investigation of an early medieval cemetery at Barrow Clump, Figheldean, on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire. Our focus is upon the project’s assertions of parity and affinity between early Anglo-Saxon weapon burials and the experiences of modern military personnel: dialogues with early medieval ‘warriors’.
    • Chester, Cavaliers and Cannons

      Chadwick, Sam (BBC History Magazine, 2019-10-26)
      This presentation looked at Chester’s role in the Civil War, the day-to-day activities of the siege of Chester, and the actions of the troops and commanders, supported by one of the key weapons of the time: artillery. Starting with an overview of the Civil War and its three parts, this lecture went on to look at 17th century siege warfare and its part in the civil war. It then drew out Chester’s place in the economy and the political landscape of the time, as well as the state of its defences. The presentation outlined the key figures in the siege of Chester, and broke down the siege into 4 key phases. Finally the presentation concluded with drawing the siege back to some of the original research on siege warfare and seeing how applicable they are in this case study.
    • The Hidden Narratives of Medieval Art

      Wilson, Katherine Anne; University of Chester (Fordham University Press, 2019-10-15)
      To modern readers and viewers, objects like the Arnolfini portrait or the Angers Apocalypse tapestry appear to be the product and preserve of an elite class of consumers in the Middle Ages. This chapter argues that our analyses of these objects should not focus exclusively, or even predominantly on elites. In addition, the essay gives a voice and a place to the workers behind art of the Middle Ages examining the economic uncertainty and instability of employment that underpinned their production. It considers entrepreneurs who saw medieval courts and elite customers as commercial opportunities to be exploited. It ends by examining elite users of these products to complicate the narratives of their consumption. Far from simply reflecting the power and status of their owners, objects like the Arnolfini portrait or the Apocalypse tapestry also conveyed the uncertainty of everyday life and the fragility of princely rule during the Middle Ages.
    • The Alien Jew in the British Imagination, 1881-1905: Space, Mobility and Territoriality

      Ewence, Hannah; University of Chester (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019-10-15)
      This book explores how fin de siècle Britain and Britons displaced spatially-charged apprehensions about imperial decline, urban decay and unpoliced borders onto Jews from Eastern Europe migrating westwards. The myriad of representations of the ‘alien Jew’ that emerged were the product of, but also a catalyst for, a decisive moment in Britain’s legal history: the fight for the 1905 Aliens Act. Drawing upon a richly diverse collection of social and political commentary, including fiction, political testimony, ethnography, travel writing, journalism and cartography, this volume traces the shifting rhetoric around alien Jews as they journeyed from the Russian Pale of Settlement to London’s East End. By employing a unique and innovative reading of both the aliens debate and racialized discourse concerned with ‘the Jew’, Hannah Ewence demonstrates that ideas about ‘space’ and 'place’ critically informed how migrants were viewed; an argument which remains valid in today’s world.
    • Rethinking heirlooms in early medieval graves

      Costello, Brian; Williams, Howard; University of Chester (Archaeopress, 2019-09-14)
      Since the influential work of Roger White (1988; 1990), there have been a range of studies exploring the reuse and recycling of artefacts in southern and eastern Britain in the 5th–7th centuries AD, focusing especially on the reuse of Roman artefacts in early Anglo-Saxon furnished inhumation graves. This chapter will reappraise the theoretical and methodological framework for such studies, suggesting that the focus on ‘Roman’ artefacts distracts attention away from the potential mnemonic significance of deploying early medieval curated artefacts in the mortuary arena as key components of burial assemblages. We propose a new approach to early medieval artefacts, focusing on how older early medieval ‘heirlooms’ were deployed within the burial tableau as significant elements of mortuary performance. This argument is illustrated by four furnished inhumation graves, two each from a pair of cemeteries in east Kent.
    • Landscapes of Internment: British Prisoner of War Camps and the Memory of the First World War

      Grady, Tim; University of Chester (Cambridge University Press, 2019-07-26)
      During the First World War, all the belligerent powers interned both civilian and military prisoners. In Britain alone, over 100,000 people were held behind barbed wire. Despite the scale of this enterprise, interment barely features in Britain's First World War memory culture. By exploring the place of prisoner of war camps within the "militarized environment" of the home front, this article demonstrates the centrality of internment to local wartime experiences. Being forced to share the same environment meant that both British civilians and German prisoners clashed over access to resources, roads and the surrounding landscape. As the article contends, it was only when the British started to employ the prisoners on environmental improvement measures, such as land drainage or river clearance projects, that relations gradually improved. With the end of the war and closure of the camps, however, these deep entanglements were quickly forgotten. Instead of commemorating the complexities of the conflict, Britain's memory culture focused on more comfortable narratives; British military "sacrifice" on the Western Front quickly replaced any discussion of the internment of the "enemy" at home.
    • Cremation and contemporary churchyards

      Williams, Howard; Williams, Elizabeth; University of Chester (Routledge, 2019-07-05)
      A contemporary archaeological investigation of cremation memorials in English and Welsh churchyards.
    • Conversion, Ritual, and Landscape: Streoneshalh (Whitby), Osingadun, and the Anglo-Saxon Cemetery at Street House, North Yorkshire

      Pickles, Thomas; University of Chester (Boydell & Brewer, 2019-06-21)
      This paper considers the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons as a social process through the improvised mortuary rituals of one local community. It argues that the royal monastery of Streoneshalh (Whitby) had an estate at Osingadun (modern Easington), which should be connected to a seventh-century cemetery at nearby Street House. It interprets the cemetery as an engine for negotiating and producing social and religious change.
    • ‘To our big boy’. Zoos and animal sanctuaries as deathscapes

      Williams, Howard; University of Chester (Nordic Academic Press, 2019-06-01)
      n/a
    • Review: Nicole Discenza, Inhabited Spaces: Anglo-Saxon Constructions of Place

      Pickles, Thomas; University of Chester (Oxford University Press, 2019-03-25)
      A book review.
    • Early Holocene wetland succession at Lake Flixton (UK) and its implications for Mesolithic settlement

      Taylor, Barry; University of Chester (Springer Verlag, 2019-02-28)
      This paper reports on new research into the timing and nature of post-glacial environmental change at Lake Flixton (North Yorkshire, UK). Previous investigations indicate a succession of wetland environments during the early Holocene, ultimately infilling the basin by ca 7,000 cal BP. The expansion of wetland environments, along with early Holocene woodland development, has been linked to changes in the human occupation of this landscape during the Mesolithic (ca 11,300-6,000 cal BP). However, our understanding of the timing and nature of environmental change within the palaeolake is poor, making it difficult to correlate to known patterns of Mesolithic activity. This paper provides a new record for both the chronology and character of environmental change within Lake Flixton, and discusses the implications for the Mesolithic occupation of the surrounding landscape.
    • Constructing a Civic Community in Late Medieval London: the Common Profit, Charity and Commemoration

      Harry, David; University of Chester (Boydell and Brewer, 2019-02-15)
      In the late fourteenth century, London’s government, through mismanagement and negligence, experienced a series of crises. Relationships with the crown were tested; competing factions sought to wrest power from the hands of the once all-powerful victualling guilds; revolt in the streets in 1381 targeted the institutions of royal as well as civic power; and, between 1392 and 1397, King Richard removed the liberties of the city and appointed his own wardens to govern in place of the mayor of London. This book examines the strategies employed by the generation of London aldermen who governed after 1397 to regain control of their city. By examining a range of interdisciplinary sources, including manuscript and printed books, administrative records, accounts of civic ritual and epitaphs, this book explores how, by carefully constructing the idea of a civic community united by shared political concerns and spiritual ambitions, a small number of men virtually monopolised power in the capital. More generally, this is an exploration of the mentalities of those who sought civic power in the late Middle Ages and provokes the question: why govern, and for whom?
    • Writing a Spiritual Biography in Early Modern France: The 'Many Lives' of Madeleine de Lamoignon

      Hillman, Jennifer; University of Chester (Duke University Press, 2019-02-01)
      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.
    • Displaying the deviant: Sutton Hoo’s sand bodies

      Williams, Howard; Walsh, Madeline; University of Chester (Equinox, 2019-01-01)
      The interpretation of early medieval deviant burials has come to the fore in recent mortuary archaeology debates. Yet, critical discussion of how early medieval execution cemeteries are portrayed in museums and other media has received no critical attention. Using the prominent case study of Sutton Hoo, Suffolk, this chapter reveals the interpretative and ethical challenges inherent in narrating and visualizing later Anglo- Saxon judicial killing in the absence of well-preserved human remains, but instead through the recording and interpretation of carefully excavated “sand bodies.”
    • Death’s drama: mortuary practice in Vikings Season 1–4

      Williams, Howard; University of Chester (Equinox, 2019-01-01)
      Inspired by later medieval sagas and Viking Age historical sources, but underpinned and enriched by archaeological evidence and themes, the History channel’s Vikings (2013–) is a unique drama series explor- ing the late eighth/early ninth century conflicts and culture of the Northmen, aimed at a global television audience. This chapter introduces the series and its varied portrayals of mortuary practice. From the por- trayal of the deaths of chieftains and those slain in battle to family members and children, I identify key archaeological themes behind the depiction of death. This prompts discussion of mortuary archaeology’s influence on popular perceptions of the Early Middle Ages, the programme operating as education, enter- tainment but also reflecting on present-day anxieties over the nature of human mortality.
    • Death’s diversity: the case of Llangollen Museum

      Williams, Howard; Evans, Suzanne; University of Chester (Equinox, 2019-01-01)
      Much of the debate regarding mortuary archaeology’s public interactions has centred on the ethics and politics of displaying articulated skeletal material and fleshed bodies. In contrast, multiple, fragmented, dislocated and cenotaphic mortuary traces which populate museums across the UK have escaped sustained attention. Local and town museums, and also the distinctive narratives required in Welsh museums, have also eluded consideration. This chapter explores how smaller museums create environments in which networks are created both with other memorial places and landscapes in the vicinity, and between discrete museum displays. This chapter focuses on one case study—Llangollen Museum—to present and inter- rogate how a diversity of mortuary material culture combine to create a mortuary network associated with local history, heritage and landscape in this distinctive North Welsh context.