Iron Age and Roman Heritages
Exploring ancient identities in modern Britain
This interdisciplinary project has been funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and will run for three years as a collaboration between Durham Archaeology, the UCL Institute of Archaeology and Durham Anthropology.
The team will assess how the Iron Age and Roman pasts of England, Scotland and Wales (c. 700BC to AD 400) are called upon today, situating this understanding in an international context. Through this case study, the wider values of interacting with the past for different individuals and groups will also be documented as well as providing a framework for an innovative debate that looks for ways to connect up the interests of stakeholders and outline directions for further coordinated research. Finally, during the course of the three years, research on heritages relating to the post-Roman period and up to AD 800 in Britain and selected areas of the Mediterranean will be piloted.
potential of the chosen theme emerges from a powerful duality represented in
particular ways across Europe. Kristiansen (1996, 138) defines two European
myths of origin stemming from a classical dichotomy between ‘civilisation’ and ‘barbarism’, and a variety of ‘dualities’ arise from the ways these oppositions have played out (Beard
& Henderson 1999, 47). The interlinked nature of dualities reflects the
extent and complexity of the territories that make up the British Isles, the
histories of the people who live in these places and their relationships to
those overseas (Hingley 2015).
The project will address 5 research directions for Iron Age and Roman Heritage (IA&RH):
- To explore the diversity of heritages created by various stakeholders across Britain, as exemplified through interpreting, performing and researching.
- To document the contrasting values inherent in these heritages and how these relate to sense of place.
- To research the wider values of engaging with the past in Britain. These values are not necessarily specific to IA&RH, but will be identified by looking intensively at this case study.
- To develop and apply a mixed and coordinated methodology for the study of heritage values that uses both qualitative and data-intensive methods of analysis, offline and online.
- To build upon contact with academics and organizations working on related issues in the UK and elsewhere, to encourage a new focus of international research around the core aims of the project that we hope will help to spread this cross-disciplinary agenda.
The project is
firmly grounded in earlier AHRC-funded research undertaken on Hadrian’s Wall by PI Hingley,
digital heritage and public archaeology by CI Bonacchi,
and professional practices by CI Yarrow. The approach being taken will allow access to significant new
bodies of information online and offline. Particularly, the project will develop and
apply a mixed and coordinated methodology for the study of heritage values that
leverages both qualitative and data-intensive methods of analysis ranging from
ethnography, to topic modelling, network analysis and crowdsourcing.
- This research project commenced in July 2016 and details of related outputs will be published here in due course.
- AHRC Standard Research Grant (2016-18)
- Richard Hingley (PI: University of Durham Archaeology)
- Chiara Bonacchi (Co-I: UCL Archaeology)
- Tom Yarrow (Co-I: University of Durham Anthropology)
- Kate Sharpe (PDRA, University of Durham Archaeology)
- Marta Krzyzanska (RA, UCL Archaeology)
- Iron Age
- Cultural heritage
- Public Archaeology
- Community Archaeology
- Digital Heritage