PGRAS 2013 Abstracts
Amelia ASTLEY: The taphonomy of historic wreck sites
Over time due to environmental pressures (physical, biological and chemical) the structural integrity of a shipwreck declines and the spatial coherency of the shipwreck site becomes degraded. If we wish to better understand the surviving archaeological record we require improved knowledge of the impact of variable marine conditions on wreck sites. An understanding of site formation processes will allow us to better interpret the record we have as well as any excavated assemblages.
This project aims to understand these processes on both a whole wreck and individual artefact scale, by answering the following two questions:
- I. How does the local environment influence the gross sediment transport around a wreck site over a range of temporal scales?
- II. How do individual artefacts behave on wreck sites under differing hydrodynamic and sedimentary
In order to tackle these questions I will first be collating a databank of bathymetric surveys covering wrecks situated over a wide range of environmental conditions. In combination with metocean data I will determine the main environmental controls on the sediment transport conditions of shipwreck sites. In tandem with this work I will be using a hydrodynamic flume to model the processes of sediment transport as observed in the bathymetric data study in order to isolate relative influence of each environmental parameter.
Nicole BEALE: We ‘like’ Archaeology. Evaluating the potential of social media for community archaeology
My PhD looks at how the Web can contribute to the work of local museums with the communities they serve to be more evidence-based and more sustainable. In this presentation I will discuss an aspect of my research that I am currently working on: An overview of the potential for using social media platforms and tools to extend the reach of community archaeology. Social media has had an exponential uptake by internet users generally, and its use is increasing at a high rate. There are few reliable statistics about participation in archaeology via social media. Simon’s recent publication, The Participatory Museum, (2010) describes the future for museum exhibition design lies in co-creative community projects that can give voice to local community members and provide a place for community dialogue. The same is true for archaeology.
The web, and in particular social media platforms and tools, can provide a mechanism for staging co- creative community-oriented archaeology. I plan to discuss ways to ensure successful implementation of social media use that is aligned closely to aims of the community-oriented archaeology and embedded in strategies for web adoption. There is an opportunity to learn from participative media, to create opportunities for heritage creation by communities rather than authorities, as discussed by Fairclough (2011). This paper will introduce and critically analyse a selection of case studies of community-oriented archaeology projects, implemented by authorities, but engaged with by communities through social media.
Maria Cristina BIELLA: Giving voice to an ancient pre-Roman City: the case of Falerii Veteres
In the last thirty years there has been a complex debate on the origin of Etruscan cities, but little attention has been given to their development and to their forma urbis, by which we mean, for instance, how spaces were organised, what were the relations between public infrastructure and private properties and houses, where and how productive areas were settled, which were the relations between city centre and suburban areas, taking into account in this perspective also the necropoleis, which must be considered part of the urban settlement and not in opposition or separated from it.
All these questions cannot find clear and satisfactory answers without recourse to a large documentary basis, acquired thanks to wide archaeological excavations, field surveys and systematic studies of both material culture and historical sources. Unfortunately the majority of ancient cities in pre-Roman Italy lack at least one (or all) of these aspects. There is at the moment only one case with all these features: Falerii Veteres.
For this reason the primary aim of my PhD project is the deep knowledge of this city in a wide chronological period (8th BC – 241 BC) with a holistic perspective. In my paper I will present the state of things of my research. In the last two years archival and topographical data, single contexts and historical and epigraphical sources have been organised in a relational database and the data from the urban area, (both urban and suburban parts), have been then set in broad chronological
Lucie BOLTON: Simple Prepared Cores in Britain
From around 300,000 BP onwards hominins in Europe, including late H. heidelbergensis and early Neanderthals, started producing flakes in a more systematic way. This core working technique, known as Levallois or Prepared Core Technology (PCT), has long been of interest to researchers however, the origins of this technique are still highly debated. Fully developed Levallois reduction sequences seem to have their roots in a lesser studied technique referred to as either ‘proto’ Levallois, ‘reduced’ Levallois or more recently as Simple Prepared Core (SPC) technology. This research is the first comprehensive study comparing these techniques with a uniform methodology, bridging data from different sites in Britain but also from France and Belgium. One of the aims of this research is to identify if these different terms are merely different names for what is technically the same reduction strategy. In order to do this, all mentions of these core working techniques are currently being investigated. The reduction strategies of these cores are compared through a detailed attribute analysis to see if a common technological definition can be applied.
Currently 478 cores from 6 British sites have been examined. Results, thus far, demonstrate identical reduction techniques at all sites allowing for the construction of a new overarching technological definition of SPC technology. Preliminary results would suggest an in situ development for SPC and the origins of Levallois in Britain. This in turn potentially suggests independent complex hominin behavioural innovations rather than a single contiguous “tradition” as previously thought.
Chiara BOTTURI: Old and new perspectives towards funerary evidence
Funerary remains are one of the most widespread sources of evidence among archaeological remains. The approach towards this particular kind of information has changed over centuries, from a mere interest in valuable objects to a more informative approach intended to reconstruct social structure, ethnic identity, rituals and the ideology underlying funerary practice. In this paper, the main methods and attitudes towards archaeological remains, in particular burial evidence, will be discussed. This review will answer many questions, such as: what information can be feasibly derived from the study of Roman burial contexts? What kinds of issues can be clarified about past societies cultures from funerary evidence? Are the “intentional” characters of funerary deposits or our present conceptual categories destined to undermine our knowledge of the past? This research is attempting a new approach to these kinds of issue. It emphasizes the role of burials in helping us understand aspects of social behaviour, attitudes to death and ancient topography. The particular significance of death and burial to the Romans led to distinctive forms of display and the presence of large numbers of tombs in the landscape. Indeed, the important role of memory and remembrance after death was a distinctive feature of Roman culture, and strongly influenced the organisation of ancient space. Is it therefore possible to comprehend the occupation of the territory and the population by means of the characteristics and distribution of Roman funerary evidence?
Peter BRUGGER: 3D rapid prototyping of archaeology within a museum – would there be a benefit?
3D rapid prototyping technologies, more commonly known as 3D printing, have developed at an incredible rate over the past few years, the rapid prototyping machines becoming smaller and more versatile as well as the models produced becoming much more intricate and durable.
This presentation originates from observation that archaeological objects exhibited by the museum, rightly so, are either behind glass, or behind certain security; even electroplated replica artefacts are behind similar barriers – could we not change this situation?
I would not be so foolish as to suggest that we remove glass cases or security barriers from original archaeological objects. Instead, it is the belief that 3D rapid prototyped replicas manufactured in-house would be exhibited by the museum. This would allow for a new type of exhibition, one that would not require glass cases and actually encourage handling. How would this benefit the museum? Would this encourage greater visitor interest in archaeology? What are the drawbacks of creating 3D rapid prototyped replicas within the museum? All questions that I shall expand upon, persuading you of the positive potentials of 3D rapid prototyping of archaeological collections within the museum.
Rachel BYNOE: The Great Fossil Mine of the Southern North Sea: exploring the potential of submerged Palaeolithic archaeology
One hundred years have passed since Clement Reid published his work on the submerged forests of the southern North Sea (1913), making the archaeological significance of these areas explicit for the first time. Although these ideas were explored further over subsequent years (eg. Clarke 1936) it is remarkable that our understanding of these areas is still so limited. The resurrection of interest in this neglected aspect of archaeology, increasingly seen over the past few decades, has focused almost exclusively on the Holocene deposits, undisturbed by glaciations and repeated sea level fluctuations. However, recent investigations have demonstrated that deposits from the early to late Pleistocene are in fact extant, offering the opportunity for new insights into these underexplored areas.
In addition to this sedimentological perspective, a prolific faunal resource relating to these deposits also exists from the UK offshore sector and yet has had no broad, systematic audit to identify the depth of information it contains. Subsequently, we have no real baseline understanding of the potential of these areas or how we can develop a targeted approach to them. This research therefore begins by collating this resource and, through emerging patterns, is shedding new light on the temporal characteristics, spatial zonation and ecological insights that the different deposits may hold. The new, rich information that this generates will feed back into an improved understanding of the Palaeolithic, moving us ever closer to answering key research questions for this period.
Peter CAMPBELL: Innovation in the Archaeological Record: Apples to Apples, Gorilla Suits, and Thomas Kuhn
Is it possible to identify innovation in the archaeological record? Does technology evolve, diffuse, or spread multi-linearly? As a field, archaeology has an identity crisis when it comes to technology. We regularly argue against technological determinist and evolutionary models in the social sciences, yet “evolution” and “evolve” are found throughout mainstream publications, as well as depictions of uni- or multi-linear spread of technology that implies some level of determinism.
This paper examines several flawed assumptions about innovation and argues that the diffusion of technology is actually a transfer of ideas rather than material culture. Furthermore, ideas on technologies are composed of distinct and incompatible paradigms rather than continuity of single veins of thought throughout time. As arguably the world’s greatest compendium of ideas, the archaeological record is able to demonstrate social aspects of technological innovation and diffusion through processes like accretion and exaptation rather than evolution or determinism.
Drawing on research from a wide range of disciplines, the author argues for a new approach to understanding the spread of technology. First, technology should be understood through a cognitive approach after the work of Olof Hasslof and Thomas Kuhn. Second, graphing technology as change over time is too simplistic; it needs to be mapped multi-dimensionally. Third, a conceptual-based classification system and multi-dimensional modelling provides a nuanced view of the past that utilizes and explains the vast variability found in the archaeological record. Finally, this approach is tied to three maritime case studies: anchors, ships hulls, and warship rams.
Damien CAMPBELL-BELL: Justifying Uniformitarianism: Perception and the archaeological record
Archaeologists are predominantly realists; they work on the premise that we can use our senses to learn real information about the remains of the past. Whilst this is a stance which must be adopted to say anything meaningful about the evidence we collect, when it comes to constructing narratives about the past, the validity of our perceptions are called into question. Archaeological interpretations are built up from data which has been collected through an act of perception in the present, and to apply this data in the creation of narratives about the past we rely on a number of assumptions. One of these, which is often left unmentioned, is that people in the past perceived in the same way as people today.
This can be seen as an extension of the principle of uniformitarianism, and whilst uniformitarianism is a necessary assumption for archaeology, the cross-cultural nature of perception is not. This presentation will examine the relationship between perception, archaeological knowledge creation and uniformitarianism, and argue that we need to take a closer look at some of the assumptions at the heart of archaeology.
Richard CHUANG: Flogging a Dead Horse? – a case study on Discriminating Romano Britain Domestic Equines using existing methods
Accurately identifying equine remains to species level is rather challenging even for experienced zooarchaeologists. Methods such as morphometric analysis sometimes have to be applied to support morphological evidence. It is rather fortunate, that the two most common domesticated equines, horses and donkeys, are significantly different in size and can also be distinguished through some morphological traits. However, the morphological differences between horses and mules are extremely ambiguous and trivial. Despite that certain morphological traits have been argued could be used to discriminate mules from horse in the past; none of these traits has been further tested due to the sufficient number of mule samples and thus are not commonly applied in practice. As a result, the number of mules in archaeological records can be largely underestimated.
Current study aims to test the validity of these morphological traits from different perspectives. Discriminant function analysis has long been used by biologists to distinguish different species and it has also been used in archaeological cases. However, previous research did not use its results to examine the reliability of these morphological traits. In this study, equine remains from a Roman site in Yorkshire (A1DB) are examined and assigned to possible species based on morphological traits and then compared with the outcomes based on discriminant function analysis using biometric measurements of examined samples. The results suggest that some morphological traits seem reliable, but the wide varieties between domestic equines indicate that both methods have their limitation and cannot give conclusive identification.
Catriona COOPER: Using Acoustics to Explore Lived Experience at Late Medieval Sites
The subject of lived experience in the middle ages has been a relatively neglected topic. However, the tendency has been to examine the remains without addressing questions on the experience of living. The study of lived experience through the theoretical approach of phenomenology has been discussed frequently in prehistory but it has rarely been applied to medieval sites: it provides one way of thinking about the examination of life through the lost or decontextualized material culture from a novel, personalised perspective. Unlike the prehistoric setting, the quality and quantity of data available from the medieval period allow these theoretical advances to be taken a step further and to generate materials that can be used directly to inform interpretation for the public.
This thesis will apply digital media technologies to questions of what it was like to live in a castle or great house at the end of the middle ages through two digital projects. This presentation will discuss an acoustical project at Ightham Mote. Acoustical survey is used to record the impulse response of three rooms at Ightham Mote. These measurements will be used as a method for exploring how sound was experienced in these three spaces of the building and will discuss how well they were suited to their purpose.
Doug COWIE: Developing a system for integrating Bayesian dates into ArcGIS
The use of temporal geographic information systems (TGIS) is wide and varied, but surprisingly very few examples come from Archaeology, numbering perhaps around half a dozen examples depending on the definition of T-GIS used.
There is a range of reasons for this, and the problem can be broadly split into three areas, storage of data, data analysis and data visualisation. Archaeological temporal data does not lend itself to any pre-existing temporal data types, being either relative (stratigraphy) or probabilistic (radiocarbon, etc.) So the first hurdle for an archaeological T-GIS is to store such data in a conventional database.
Secondly is the problem of doing something useful with the data once stored in a database. The problem is not so much ‘what’, but more ‘how’. Existing spatial operations would need to be re-written to take into account the temporal dimension. There is great scope here for new methods of analysis that would not be possible without the inclusion of temporal data.
And finally there is the problem of displaying the stored temporality in a way, which is meaningful to the user. This also includes the results of any analysis.
My research looks to take Bayesian modelled dates and import these into ArcGIS via a personal geodatabase. Bayesian dates provide us with a much smaller date range that enables a more granular perception of landscape change. Building on the work of Whittle et al, a Bayesian T-GIS will allow us to view the development of the southern British Neolithic from a landscape perspective.
Sarah COXON: Still using the C word: The Case of the Belegiš
My previous attempts at empirically locating creativity within assemblages of Middle and Late Bronze Age Belegiš ceramic cremation vessels from the Serbian Danube basin have been, at best, tenuous. Despite the fact that no two vessels were exactly replicated, analysis of their underlying technology has demonstrated a distinct shared set of design rules and technological templates, more indicative of craft tradition than of creativity. Yet these assemblages are still diverse. Over the last year I have reconfigured my focus in order to take a more holistic approach in the deconstruction of this variation. This has led me to incorporate exploration of individual and community craft practice and how this sits within the confines of socio-cultural tradition. Regardless of this shift in approach, the concept of creativity has not been abandoned. Instead of it taking the primary focal point, I argue it still forms a useful theoretical bridge for thinking through and situating the relationship of maker and object within a wider discussion of material variability.
Vasko DEMOU: Performing ‘Sub/Liminal Ethnographies’
In times of crisis we tend to look back; some of us search for the causal chain of our current situation or for the strength to fend off the uncertainties it entails and to start anew; some others seek to legitimise our actions and point the finger or to escape the bleak present by surrendering to the dis/comfort of nostalgia. In the past five years, Greece has witnessed a, perhaps unprecedented, intensification of public interest in the past, be it distant or recent, personal or collective. Ranging from radical revisionism to reactionary reminiscence to rollicking reinterpretation, contemporary attitudes towards the past challenge the monolithicity of established historical and archaeological narratives, and question their authority as well as that of those behind them. Convinced that this was a phenomenon that claimed the attention of archaeologists (as it concerned the practice’s relevance in contemporary society), I set out to chart these attitudes through a triptych of site-specific ethnographic art installations. In theory, these would expose participants to less well-known aspects of the history and materiality of the Acropolis in a non-didactic manner, and allow me to record their views on and spontaneous reactions to the site and its history; on the field, however, they also acquired an unexpected confessional character, as participants saw in them an opportunity to talk about their current grievances, memories, dreams, and secrets. This unveiled an entire quotidian universe with the Acropolis as its relational centrepiece as well as a desire for a more intimate connection with archaeology.
Chris ELMER: Engaging Archaeology
In recent years there has been increased debate around the notion that public engagement in archaeology is vital to the health of society as well as the Profession. This debate has become even more relevant as funding cuts threaten the ability of organisations to offer public access to archaeology.This research looks at the current and potential role of organisations, based in the Wessex region, in offering the public opportunities to engage with archaeology. An analysis of the ‘Disciplinary’ and ‘Identity making’ function of these bodies is being used to better understand their core values and suggest why a range of attitudes and approaches to public engagement exist. This talk will look at some comparative studies of current practice, including the ‘What’s under your School?’ Project. The talk will also touch on the use of museum inspired evaluation tools which are being used to understand impact and to help formulate a strategy for future activity.
Carolyn FELTON: Vertebral Degeneration and Morphology is there a link?
The interpretation of physical activity from evidence of degenerative change in joints has been a point of considerable debate in bioarchaeology.
Degenerative change in a joint is thought to be a response to overuse of that joint due to heavy workload and demanding physical activity, and has been used to define lifestyle in many studies. However, bone has plasticity and is able to functionally adapt to loading by remodeling. Few studies have linked the remodeling of bone with the presence of degeneration.
This paper will review the theory linking functional adaptation and degeneration and present the preliminary results from a pilot study used to validate the chosen method.
Tom FRANKLAND: Trends and future developments in the design of digital technologies for fieldwork
As mobile technologies such as smartphones and tablets become increasingly ubiquitous, the digital technologies deployed by archaeologists in the field are also changing. This paper explores the factors that may be behind this change. Are archaeologists attracted by the latest technologies, or the methodological benefits that result from adopting them? How much do cost, availability and usability limit or encourage the adoption of new technologies by archaeologists?
In order to answer these questions, this paper will explore how and why digital technologies have been developed and used in the field by archaeologists over the last forty years. This analysis will be conducted using a recently created online archive of papers that were previously published in the proceedings of CAA (Computer Applications and quantitative methods in Archaeology). Since the first CAA conference proceedings (published in 1973), the use of computers ‘on-site’ has been a frequent theme for authors, and it is hoped that this in-depth examination of the CAA literature reveals both the trends and trajectories of research in this field.
Matthew HARRISON: Growing a Medieval City
The medieval city of Fustat (Egypt), the economic hub of the Fatimid Caliphate, has been revealed through the accounts of travellers, the descriptions of historians and geographers, hundreds of surviving contemporary letters and legal documents, and a range of archaeological excavations across the site. How can digital modelling technologies aid in our interpretation of these disparate and incomplete datasets? Can we move towards a holistic visualisation of the city while exploring uncertainty and multiple hypotheses? And in doing so can we improve our understanding of the dataset as a whole?
I explore these issues through use of procedural modelling technologies. These technologies generate digital forms based on a set of underlying principles or rules, often using a system of growth or subdivision to make increasingly complex geometries in an automated way. Introducing probabilistic elements to these generative systems means multiple forms can be instantly created that adhere to the same basic principles. Can existing archaeological and historical data be integrated into such a probabilistic model to create a visualisation of the city that adheres to what we do know, and explores the range of interpretive possibilities of elements that remain uncertain, based on established spatial and architectural principles?
Benedict HEANEY – Small Boat Technology
An introduction to the material and parameters for research of a project based around small boat technology. There is large corpus of written, iconographic and physical information, regarding small vessels, that is an ideal starting point for looking further into the way in which ships and boats in the ‘Age of Sail’ (c.1700-c.1900) were used. Particular emphasis will be directed at examining their use in a physical context, and their place within the wider social structure of ‘a ship’, and the even wider socio-political structure of ‘the navy’. Focussing primarily on military vessels, research examines the British navy, and other countries in the ‘European Tradition’ of shipbuilding, including the Low Countries, France and Spain. An auxiliary part of the project is an investigation of an ethnographic resource – a fleet of ‘Bantry Bay Gigs’ – replicas of an 18th Century Admiral’s Barge. The primary data showcased in this presentation, however, is the preliminary work being done with boat and ship plans at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich; effectively quantifying a primary resource. The project as a whole aims to draw together all the different types of evidence for the technology and planning surrounding smaller boats of the maritime military, with special emphasis to those used in conjunction with larger ships, in order to further understand the way in which the large social machines of the European navies were changing and adapting during a period of technological change and wide-spread, and wide-scale, industrialisation.
Kristen HEASLEY: Neanderthal Raw Material Economy in the Late Middle Palaeolithic of Northeast Italy
Raw material economy studies link the lithic assemblages of an archaeological site with the provenance of stone resources in the landscape. Applied to the late Mousterian Neanderthal record of northeast Italy, interesting patterns of flint procurement, transport, and management can be identified. These not only indicate Neanderthal mobility and economic zones, but also inform on the nature of the lithic assemblage itself. Stone tool typologies and the chaîne opératoire of the lithic assemblage as a whole can be seen to reflect both the quality and transport distances of the raw lithic materials utilised by these past populations.
This presentation will provide an overview of the application of raw material economy studies to the Middle Palaeolithic assemblages of Europe, and will discuss those methodologies that I consider to be inappropriate. The most notable flaws in past studies are the lack of lithological surveys to identify actual raw material sources in the landscape, as well as the determination of resource transport by ‘as the crow flies’ distances, not accounting for topographic features. To address these problems, my research incorporates pedestrian survey within a theoretical ‘local’ economic zone of 5km around each site. Prospecting for raw lithic materials provides definite locations for resource procurement, which can more precisely indicate material transport and demonstrate population movement through archaeologically negative landscapes. Additionally, this research accounts for mobility costs incurred by physical terrain, and better identifies economic zonation on a regional scale through correlation of lithic assemblages with their raw material source beyond the site.
Brittany HILL: Investigating the co-burial: the human-animal connection
Animals are not only good to eat but are ‘good to think’ with and ‘good to feel’. This study seeks to bypass the boundaries of zooarchaeology and human osteology to find a balance between the two extremes-also known as social zooarchaeology-which allows a deeper more holistic questioning of the changes in human-animal relationship to take place. A specific focus will be placed on these changes occurring during the transition from Late Iron Age (150 BC-1AD) to early Roman occupation of Britain (1st -2nd century AD) which led to the inclusion of animals as “grave goods” in inhumation and cremation burials Southern Britain. Themes of necessity for fulfilment of funerary rites are explored by questioning the significance of animals in various forms present within both structured and unstructured burial grounds. Questions of appropriateness of ritual are explored through the cross examination of the age and biological sex of the animals buried alongside humans at various points in their lifecycles. Further possibilities as to the purpose of inclusion in the burial practice are explored by examining ideas of gifting of food for the gods and/or the deceased, ensuring of fertility, points of socio-economic gain and/or solidification, extension of the self or as markers of “racial” identification.
Jemma JONES: Neuroaesthetics and Ice Age Art: A Modern Interpretation of the Prehistoric Mind
Prehistoric ‘Religion’ as a term has been used widely throughout archaeological literature often without substantial definition or evidence. My research into Neuroaesthetics and Ice Age art proposes an interdisplinary approach to construct a wider picture of the evolution of sociality in the Palaeolithic and propose a more focussed explanation of the term religion and its meaning and significance 40,000 years ago.
Whilst archaeologists often conclude sites have ritual significance they very rarely relate the archaeological evidence to other branches of human science such as neuroscience, sociology or anthropology. The work of French sociologist Emile Durkheim particularly ‘The Elementary forms of Religious Life’ offers an insight into the beginnings of human social networking which in turn has led to what we perceive as religion. Durkheim understood religion and society as synonymous elements of human life ‘If religion has given birth to all that is essential in society, it is because the idea of society is the soul of religion’ Therefore according to Durkheim the earliest forms of social bonding would be construed as religious.
Evidence from sites such as Montastruc France, Dolni Vestonice Czech Republic, Gobeli Tepe Turkey, Willendorf Germany and Phylakopi Greece; will illustrate how the creation of Ice Age art objects are not only evidence of advanced cognition and theory of mind but a souvenir of the sociality, spirituality and creativity of Ice Age people globally.
Christopher J. KERNS: In the Shadow of the Past: Exploring the spatial structures and connections between Chambered cairns and Settlements during the Neolithic in Orkney
While last year’s PGRAS presentation emphasized the chronological relationships between settlements and chambered cairns during the Neolithic in Orkney, this year’s PGRAS presentation focuses on the spatial analysis of the connections between monuments, specifically chambered cairns, and the relatively contemporary settlement sites. The intentional construction of places and architectural spaces embodies the social and cosmic ordering of space which underlies all human action, while social practices and interactions give places and space meaning through a process of memory and history. Therefore, the spatial relationship between built and natural landscape features is a part of the physical manifestation of the social and cosmic ordering of space created through social practices and interactions. In order to analyze the spatial relationships between chambered cairns and settlements both GIS analyses and Space Syntax analysis have been employed. The results of these analyses give clear indications that settlements were constructed in regards to past monuments and locations of historic importance.
Elizabeth NORTON: John Lubbock: A Snapshot of Collecting at the British Museum
Sir John Lubbock was part of a large network of collectors at the British Museum interested in Polished Axes from around the world, both ethnographic and archaeological examples. As a neighbour to Charles Darwin, member of scientific societies and as a member of parliament he exerted a great deal of influence on Victorian society and networks of collectors during the Enlightenment. Sir John Lubbock’s work Prehistoric Times (1865) was a Victorian success story and was widely popular and ran for six editions. Lubbock extensively used ethnographic examples in his work. His work is ideal for illustrating three of the main aims of my thesis which is to appreciate the interplay, in the history of archaeology, between the use of archaeological and ethnographic sources, to investigate the role of the British Museum as a site of knowledge making and to show how polished axes have been used to write global prehistories. I will be drawing upon the work of Dr Janet Owen (1999) and (2000) to help me answer these questions.
Terhi NURMIKKO: Ontological representation of the narrative in Sumerian literary compositions
Cuneiform, one of the earliest scripts known anywhere in the world, was initially developed to record and express the agglutinative linguistic isolate we call Sumerian. Although most scholars speculate that by the third millennium BC Sumerian had already died as a spoken language, it survived as the language of literature, politics and religious documents. Even with the limitation of the accidents of survival and discovery, tens of thousands of objects carrying cuneiform inscriptions are known to modern scholars. Indicative of an immensely rich and varied literary tradition which span several millennia in Mesopotamia, these exempla are housed in various institutions across the globe, with items from single archaeological contexts only brought together tentatively online. It is the aim of this research to illustrate the ways in which digital technologies such as RDF, Linked Open Data and electronic publication of object records can be used to disseminate, represent and query extensive but incomplete and heterogeneous datasets.
Much of this research builds on earlier academic work (MSc in 2011), which discussed the representation of spatio-temporal ambiguities and changes such as the transfer of the gu2-edin-na field between Umma and Lagash, and on how these challenges could be met using digital resources and ontological structures such as the CIDOC CRM . The most recent elements of this research have expanded beyond the representation of subjects such as person, place and event to focusing on the narrative, using a combination of the CIDOC CRM with OntoMedia, allowing for more abstract and complex searches.
Carmen OBIED: Challenging maritime perceptions of the classical world: Roman imagination of coastal landscapes
This research challenges a prevailing notion that the Romans never made the “cognitive leap” of using maps as a way of defining spatial associations. Recently, ancient geography, navigation and cartography have become a topic of great interest and maps from antiquity are far more accessible, particularly with new advances in digital technology. There has been an emergence of research projects and publications re-addressing the subject, including fresh new editions and translations of ancient geographical texts, as well as re-interpretations of maps. This study analyses the changing views and use of the sea from ancient geographers’ perspectives during the Roman period from a maritime perspective, within two coastal regions of the Mediterranean: Levant-Egypt to the East, and Hispania-Gaul to the West. Using Ptolemy’s Geography as the main source, it explores key themes between ancient geographers’ approaches and the types of records, such as aspects of ‘movement’ in documents like the periploi, versus the more ‘static’ descriptions in geographic treatises. This has involved systematically deconstructing selected geographic locations and features along the coastline, and mapping them onto their physical landscape, using GIS, Google Earth and landscape modeling. Current observations will be exemplified through a case-study of the Levant-Egypt region. Through searching for links in comparative data, such as geography, meteorology and archaeology of harbours, significant patterns and anomalies have begun to emerge. New questions are arising about their understanding of the uses and perceptions of the changing cultural maritime landscape, what they’ve chosen to represent, and how this ties with reality.
Becky PEACOCK: After the literature – What is actually happening?
Museum outreach, seems simple enough….but what is actually happening? Literature on the subject of outreach is limited if non-existent, while museums (and education) are widely written about. But does theory reflect practice? The next stage of research has focused on the observation of outreach programmes run by museums in Hampshire. A selection of the observed outreach programmes will be outlined to provide an idea of what is happening within the county. As well as focusing on the practice of outreach and the impact of these services shown by the observation. Then outline the anticipated outcome of this research, to highlight areas of improvement and the importance of outreach programmes for museums.
Javier PEREDA: New Online Museum – How to Enhance Engagement with Online Museum Content
The Web has changed how museums interact with audiences. This phenomenon has not yet been completely understood due to the novelty of the Web and the use of many technologies that are continuously developed and implemented every day. Human Computer Interaction (HCI) combined with Museum Studies among others, can provide an interdisciplinary understanding of how users/visitors interact in the online museum (OM). Moreover, even though the application of new technologies represent big opportunities for the OM to engage with their audiences, it seems that there is a shortage of tools (and/or standards) to access collections from a wide variety of museums (Addis et al., 2005) and museum enthusiasts.
This research will address the different ways in which users can interact with online museums (OM) by studying new interaction technologies that can be applied through the Web. More specifically, on understanding how new interaction methods such as Tangible User Interfaces (TUI) can enhance engagement with the OM content. TUIs have been proven to facilitate interaction with computer applications especially with children and constructivist learning environments. Therefore TUIs present a positive environment where OM visitors can be empowered and motivated to engage with the content. By embedding interactivity and data to such embodied artefacts, new areas such as the Internet of Things (IoT) have risen innovating interaction methods where many Cultural Heritage areas can benefit from. Meanwhile TUIs behave as the ergonomic element for digital interaction (Fitzmaurice et al., 1995), IoT objects provide the inter- connectivity (communication) (Krannenburg, 2008) between the user and the museums’ content.
Isobel PINDER: The relationship between Roman city walls and urban space
City walls framed and defined the arrangement of space within Roman cities. My presentation aims to place city walls within their urban context and to explore how they can offer insights into issues of Roman urbanism and social identity.
An icon of visual dominance and manipulation of landscape and cityscape alike, city walls were a potent assertion of community identity, projecting a deliberate statement of power and status. Walls formed an imposing physical barrier as much to those inside as outside and thus mediated the cultural meaning of inclusion and exclusion in an urban context. The positioning of the walls and their layout and design represented specific choices driven by ideology as well as practicality as part of the ordered and meaningful use of public space. The impact of city walls transcended their physical functionality and had lasting influence on an urban community’s behaviour and sense of identity.
My presentation examines how Roman city walls were experienced and negotiated within the urban context. I argue that city walls were fundamental to the highly structured use of space and influenced behaviour by controlling and channelling movement, thus reinforcing systems of social expectations and the exercise of power. I suggest that the relationship between public architecture, urbanism and society cannot be fully understood without assessing the impact of city walls on the organisation of space and that greater attention should be given to the contextualisation of city walls within the overall structure of public space and its use in Roman cities.
Dave POTTS: Walking the Network: a trip through a maze of twisty Roman Transport Routes by Rules
This paper presenting a computational simulation approach whose goal is to shed light on the development of Roman trade routes by examining the implications of different possible merchant behaviours.
The sailing distance between ports is calculated by tessellating the possible sailing distance that a ship could have moved in a given time unit and summarising the results, the resultant product is an isotropic pattern of movement. By calculating the intersection between different isotropic bands and a point of interest an asymmetric directed graph can be generated.
This network may be walked derived ‘the best possible route between a given network of ports. By defining a set of rules which selects the route chosen when moving between different ports, its possible to mimic possible human behaviour patterns.
Possible rules that select a given route are:-
• Travel only within view of a coastline.
• Avoid areas notorious for shipwrecks.
• Select areas known for strong winds.
• Pick a route the leads to nearest large port.
Possible trading patterns are
1. The cautious merchant, select only those routes that lie with site of the coast, avoid areas that are notorious for shipwrecks.
2. The Lazy merchant choose the nearest next port to make the next part of the voyage.
3. The Greedy merchant, ensure that the ports selected are the ones that are going to turn the greatest profit.
4. The Reckless merchant, ignore any possible hazards, ignore any possible pilot advice etc.
Denise REMPEL: Lake Mareotis: A reconsideration of Egyptian maritime history in the Greco-Roman period
It is no mystery that Egypt, and particularly the port of Alexandria exerted great maritime influence in the Greco-Roman period. Also widely accepted is the fact that a myriad of goods from as far afield as the Far East were moved through Egypt and onward, particularly throughout the Roman Empire.
What is much less regarded is the role that Lake Mareotis played in ensuring that goods flowed to and from the port of Alexandria and throughout the environs of Egypt. Expanding on the work done by the University of Southampton’s Dr Lucy Blue and the Lake Mareotis Research Project (LMRP), this paper aims to explore the environs of the LMRP with a specific aim of analysing these sites and their relation to each other as a microcosm potentially indicative of the activities and maritime trade occurring on and around the entire geographical extent of the lake.
At present I am re-examining the information collected from the Lake Mareotic Research Project with the specific aim of understanding the relationship between sites, their possible functions, and the way that these sites related and contributed to the economy of Alexandria.
The goal of this work is to answer questions concerning the physical environment of the lake in antiquity, the types of settlements which surrounded the lake and their functions, and the impact the lake, its settlements, and trade may have on our understanding of Egypt’s maritime history.
Elizabeth RICHLEY: 3D Geophysical Data Integration and Visualisation at Portus
My research will bring together diverse aspects of archaeological field research from the Portus Project. This project has been ongoing since 1998 and a large amount of data has been collated from surveys (including topographical, terrestrial geophysical, field-walking, building, underwater and laser scanning), environmental sampling (including coring, dendrochronology and flotation) and from excavations. My project will make use of not only the geophysical data but also geo-archaeological data in the form of cores and soil samples from the excavation and lidar survey to advance existing data integration methods so as to incorporate the multi-disciplinary nature of research at Portus and to develop methods of integrating and computer-based visualization of 3d datasets. In so doing it will provide greater understanding of this ancient maritime site.
Iza ROMANOWSKA: Modelling for hypotheses testing: the dispersal case study
SHEEP (Simulating Hominin Expansion in the Early Pleistocene) is an Agent-based model (ABM) of the first Out of Africa, designed to explore the spatial pattern of Lower Palaeolithic site distribution in Europe. The SHEEP model uses deterministic climate/relief approach to evaluate potential routes into Europe and their impact on the pattern of site distribution on the continent. The model consists of three main elements: 1) population growth, 2) spatial spreading process and 3) the map of terrain. The latter has been recently developed to include both environmental and topographic information. Also the impact of different geographical projection on the outcome of the model has been evaluated. The results confirm earlier findings, making the claim that dispersal routes cannot account for the observed spatial distribution pattern even more robust. This case study showcases the use of ABM as a simple and efficient tool for hypotheses testing and underlines the need to develop a solid theoretical framework for this technique.
Lucy SHIPLEY: Powerful Pots: User Experience and Ceramic Skills in Etruria
Pottery was the subject of daily encounters in the Etruscan world, primarily involving the use of vessels for the consumption of solids and liquids, their preparation and service. This paper examines the impact of ceramic forms on the body of the Etruscan user, examining how the shape of vessels influences their experience in specific ways. It presents a methodology for the quantification of ceramic experience when the pot is in use, with a particular focus on the skill demanded of the user by complex vessel forms. The results of this analysis for imported Greek and indigenously produced Archaic period (600-450 BCE) Etruscan ceramics from four different sites are presented, and their implications for the changing experience of Etruscan users are put forward. By considering ceramics from the perspective of user, rather than maker, I draw out a series of key transformations in the constitution of experience and construction of identity as translated through interactions with these powerful pots.
Andrew SPENCER: Boundaries: The use of prehistoric landscape features as physical and conceptual boundaries from the late Iron Age to the end of the Roman period in Britain
Humans are territorial animals, defining spaces, marking them for specific uses, creating visible and invisible boundaries and establishing cultural conventions of behavior toward them (Sanders, 1990, 49). Johnston (2001; 2005) for example; observed that prior to demarcation by extensive physical boundaries in the northwest of England and on Dartmoor, stone cairns created by field clearance are not just heaps of stone, but were treated as miniature burial mounds with small pits and other elements suggesting that they had another; symbolic purpose. These cairns he postulated symbolised the labour involved in ground clearance and asserted ancestral rights to the land. In the Thames valley there are many examples; most notably at Stanton Harcourt in the late Iron Age or Radley Barrow Hills in the late Roman period where prehistoric burial mounds displayed little evidence of encroachment upon their physical presence by agricultural or burial activities.
The physical presence of these features is only one possible reason why they were respected; they may have been considered as expressions of ancestral connections with the past, marking a functional and conceptual boundary of interactive spheres, a threshold or a liminal zone of passing. If there are specfic cultural conventions regarding the inviolate status of these places of past significance on display in these landscapes, how could they be recognised, categorised and employed to determine the significance of later interactions with other prehistoric landscape features?
Tyra STANDEN: The Severn Estuary and its importance for Mesolithic studies
During the Mesolithic period, hunter-gatherer communities in Britain would have experienced the variable environmental changes associated with the early Holocene. Our ability to model some of these changes, such as relative sea-level rise, has progressed greatly over the years with the development of higher resolution models and improved computing capabilities. However, in addition to understanding broad scale evolution of coastlines and environments though time, archaeological investigations need to address how such changes within the landscape would have been encountered at a human level. The Severn Estuary has been identified as a key area in Britain that has the potential to enhance our understanding about the effects of environment changes on Mesolithic lifeways, with previous investigations producing both Mesolithic archaeological material and palaeoenvironmental datasets. This paper discusses the importance of this area for Mesolithic studies before summarising with some objectives for future research.
Martin Roderick STEAD: Environmental factors in the development of Philippine indigenous boats
The development of indigenous boats in the Philippines was fundamentally influenced by environmental factors. These included features such as the regular pattern of monsoon winds, year round warm water, as well as frequent typhoons. The pattern of over 7,000 islands created a pattern of relatively sheltered waters but with strong tidal currents and overfalls. There are numerous shallow coral reefs. The strong tropical sun encouraged the provision of shade for the crew. The islands had extensive timber resources of species appropriate for dug outs or planked vessels. The seas were infested with wood boring pests and especially the teredo worm, so local vessels had to be able to be stored out of the water.
As a result the indigenous craft were all shallow draft and usually a mix of sail, paddle and oar powered. The use of outriggers was extensive to provide stability. The most frequent style was a dugout log boat, or an extended log boat, using additional timber strakes or washboards of bark or ratten. The larger vessels were plank built boats.
As a result the indigenous craft were often more useful and comfortable in service than European style vessels brought in by the Spanish. The local craft were therefore used extensively by the European colonialists up until the advent of steam power.
Helen STEFANOPOULOS: Local Identities in Athens- the Omnipresent Past and its Alternative Narratives: The Case of Philopappou Hill and the Historical Neighborhoods of Plaka, Makrygianni and Monastiraki
In Athens, remnants from a variety of pasts are vividly and persistently present. Many of these—namely sites and monuments—are of national and international significance, having played a catalytic role in the construction of Greece’s collective identity. However, other material remains, considered of less prominence and with an indirect effect on the construction of a national identity, hold an equally significant role in the formation of local identities.
My paper examines the interaction and relationship of local communities living around these living sites and monuments, experiencing them on a daily basis in different levels. It also explores the alternate views and multiple meanings given to these antiquities by said communities and the varying perceptions held by the locals; these differ distinctly from the long-established and State-coordinated official archaeological interpretations and heritage representations. This dichotomy has led to multifaceted and complex disputes primarily reflecting the locals’ perceptions and values of different monuments/sites; it also concerns the gap and miscommunication between local residents and the State due to the absence of an appropriate, engaging and holistic way of presenting the past to the general public.
Some of the key themes explored include the politics of identity and of the past, heritage management, national identity saturating onto local identity, and the different ways of interacting and engaging with archaeological/historical sites and monuments in the present. The paper examines these through an interdisciplinary framework, combining methodology utilised in community and indigenous archaeology, along with the practical aspects of archaeological ethnography.
Geoff TAYLOR: Data – a cautionary tale
As, no doubt, with other periods, Roman archaeology is often overly focused on the élite, on towns, villas and military sites. I want to look at the economy of more ‘ordinary’ people in the countryside, particularly whether, how much and when they were using money. On my approach, this requires information on finds of coins and pottery in rural areas.
Published excavations in Hampshire, where I’m initially searching, do tend to be predominantly from urban and villa sites. These can’t be ignored, but looking for finds from the Roman countryside means looking at wider sources of information, i.e. the data held on the Archaeology Data Service and Portable Antiquities Scheme databases, and particularly the local authorities’ Historic Environment Records (‘HER’s, previously called ‘SMR’s).
These records, and indeed many of the source references they cite, suffer from a number of problems. It seems that financial constraints, and sometimes a lack of appreciation of what is valuable data, have led to them becoming difficult to access and use. This presentation will review the issues and indicate some ways of easing the process.
Joana VALDEZ-TULLETT: Unbounded Atlantic Rock Art – a cross-border socio-cultural investigation
Atlantic Rock Art is usually seen as a prehistoric artistic tradition that spreads along distinct geographic regions such as the British Isles (namely the Northeast of England, Scotland and Ireland), Brittany and Northwest Iberia, unified through the cup and ring carved motif. Although this subject has a history of research dating back to the 19th Century, several questions are still unanswered and it still has not been possible to outline a satisfactory social and cultural framework for these manifestations.
This study will also approach the subject in a global and holistic way, ignoring the modern administrative borders. It will be composed by several phases of research starting with a bibliographical review, fieldwork that will include the recording of selected decorated panels and a series of spatial analysis that will investigate certain aspects of the rocks’ locations.
These analyses will establish the cultural setting of the rock art and the locational decisions that lie behind its creation.
Once the regional analysis have been conducted we can compare motifs, rock morphology, techniques, chronology, along with the physical and cultural settings for each region. This will establish similarities and differences allowing an informed decision to be made as to whether Atlantic Rock Art represents a homogenous phenomenon along the Atlantic façade.
Ellie WILLIAMS From Fresh Cadaver to Skeletal Matter: Text, practice and the Cluniac death-course
The Cluniac customaries devote considerable attention to the “correct” treatment of the dying and the deceased, with the practical and spiritual care of the body and the long-term protection of the soul constituting key structuring elements in the everyday lives of the monks. The customs’ seemingly formulaic “rules”, however, potentially mask the individuality in responses to death and complexities in dealing with a cadaver. To what extent are the specific gestures and sentiments revealed in the customs, reflected in the archaeological record? Osteological data from a range of Cluniac sites offer the potential to directly explore, through the taphonomic approach of anthropologie de terrain, the treatment of the body in each stage of the death-course. This detailed “body-focussed” approach, allows us to trace the individual responses to death visible through the multiplicity of actions performed to and for the body, and thus permits a direct exploration of the relationship between Cluniac text and practice.