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The Making of the English Landscape:

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A look at the research into Historic Landscapes using digital techniques and data sources including Digimap. Delivered by Dr Stuart Brookes from UCL.

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The Making of the English Landscape:

  1. 1. ‘The Making of the English Landscape’: Digimap, archaeology and landscape history Stuart Brookes Hoskins (1955) “The English landscape itself, to those who know how to read it alright, is the richest historical document we possess”
  2. 2. ‘The Making of the English Landscape’: Digimap, archaeology and landscape history Stuart Brookes Hoskins (1955) “The English landscape itself, to those who know how to read it alright, is the richest historical document we possess” “By providing a tangible link with our past and an inspiration for our folklore it contributes to local character and sense of place, influences how we identify ourselves as individuals and communities, shapes our relationship with nature and the spiritual world, and enhances our quality of life.” DCMS 2008, 1
  3. 3. Historic landscape perspectives Law (e.g.): • The Convention for the Protection of the Architectural Heritage of Europe • The European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage • The European Landscape Convention. Academic disciplines (e.g.): • Historical geography • Landscape archaeology • Place-name studies and onomastics • Local history Government (e.g.): • Historic Environment Records (incl. SAMs, AONBs, Listed Buildings) • Spatial planning, development control, land management • Environment Agency 1. Historic landscape in context 1. Historic landscape in context 2. The benefits of Digimap 3. Digimap data and modelling long-term change 4. Digimap data in teaching and learning 5. Conclusion
  4. 4. Historic landscape and the digital revolution • 1000s of databases / billions of records…. 1. Historic landscape in context 1. Historic landscape in context 2. The benefits of Digimap 3. Digimap data and modelling long-term change 4. Digimap data in teaching and learning 5. Conclusion
  5. 5. Historic landscape and the digital revolution • 1000s of databases / billions of records…. 1. Historic landscape in context 1. Historic landscape in context 2. The benefits of Digimap 3. Digimap data and modelling long-term change 4. Digimap data in teaching and learning 5. Conclusion
  6. 6. Historic landscape and the digital revolution • 1000s of databases / billions of records….the Digimap gateway 2. The benefits of Digimap What is at? i. Immediate access to baseline and frequently used data 1. Historic landscape in context 2. The benefits of Digimap 3. Digimap data and modelling long-term change 4. Digimap data in teaching and learning 5. Conclusion
  7. 7. 2. The benefits of Digimap ii. Ability to display materials that are in inaccessible formats LiDAR – Light Detection and Ranging Geology and archaeological findspots 1. Historic landscape in context 2. The benefits of Digimap 3. Digimap data and modelling long-term change 4. Digimap data in teaching and learning 5. Conclusion
  8. 8. 2. The benefits of Digimap Archaeology deals with the physical remains of the past: what people did Place-names deal with the conceptual remains of the past: what people thought Linked through landscape? iii. Virtual reunification of different data through ‘landscape’ Environmental reconstruction deals with the natural world, especially as affected by human activity 1. Historic landscape in context 2. The benefits of Digimap 3. Digimap data and modelling long-term change 4. Digimap data in teaching and learning 5. Conclusion
  9. 9. 2. The benefits of Digimap iv. Ground truthing to create new knowledge Example: Anglo-Saxon Charter bounds • ca. 1900 charters detailing grants of land or other privileges dating from, or purportedly dating from, before 1066. • between 840 (excl. repeated bounds) and 1000 (incl. repeated bounds) have clauses detailing landmarks along estate boundaries. • ca. 100 survive in genuine contemporary copies; the remainder survive predominantly in cartulary copies. Aerest on holan ƿylle þonne from holan ƿille on holan ƿeg middeƿeardne ðonne þonan….. First to the hollow spring, then from the hollow spring to the hollow way middleward, then thence …. 1. Historic landscape in context 2. The benefits of Digimap 3. Digimap data and modelling long-term change 4. Digimap data in teaching and learning 5. Conclusion
  10. 10. 2. The benefits of Digimap iv. Ground truthing to create new knowledge Example: Anglo-Saxon Charter bounds 1. Historic landscape in context 2. The benefits of Digimap 3. Digimap data and modelling long-term change 4. Digimap data in teaching and learning 5. Conclusion
  11. 11. 2. The benefits of Digimap iv. Ground truthing to create new knowledge Example: Anglo-Saxon Charter bounds • Reconcile textual sources, archaeology and linguistics • Reconstruct the early medieval landscape • Reconsider Old English etymologies and place-names • Understand patterns of early medieval landholding S 726 (solved by Della Hooke) overlaid on OS 25k map. Benefits of localising features Could OE dīc ‘ditch, dyke’ also refer to roads? Cf. The Fosse Way (Lat fossa ‘ditch’) and the probably associated place-name Ditcheat, Somerset (Dicesget 1086) 1. Historic landscape in context 2. The benefits of Digimap 3. Digimap data and modelling long-term change 4. Digimap data in teaching and learning 5. Conclusion
  12. 12. 2. The benefits of Digimap iv. Ground truthing to create new knowledge Baker, J. and Brookes, S. 2013. Monumentalising the political landscape: a special class of Anglo-Saxon assembly-sites. Antiquaries Journal 94, 147– 162 Moot Hill Piece ?Ecgbrihtesstan - Egbert's Stone (878) 1. Historic landscape in context 2. The benefits of Digimap 3. Digimap data and modelling long-term change 4. Digimap data in teaching and learning 5. Conclusion
  13. 13. 3. Digimap data and modelling long-term change Example: Transport geography Roman UCL T&C project AD 1200 UCL T&C project AD 1800 CamPop Modern OS/ Edina Digimap Roman roads in Modern roads - as A road 2763 (38.3%) - as B road 978 (13.5%) - Total 6093 (84.5%) 1. Historic landscape in context 2. The benefits of Digimap 3. Digimap data and modelling long-term change 4. Digimap data in teaching and learning 5. Conclusion
  14. 14. Distribution of Roman exotic imports: Orengo and Livarda 2015 PageRank Top 100 nodes in the Roman transport network 3. Digimap data and modelling long-term change Example: Transport geography Urban connections 1.Town status closely correlated with nodal positions in the road network 2.Little improvement in urban connectivity when riverine networks are includedBrookes, S. and Huynh, H.N. 2018. Transport networks and towns in Roman and early medieval England: an application of PageRank to archaeological questions. Journal of Archaeological Science Reports 17, 477–90 1. Historic landscape in context 2. The benefits of Digimap 3. Digimap data and modelling long-term change 4. Digimap data in teaching and learning 5. Conclusion
  15. 15. 3. Digimap data and modelling long-term change Example: Transport geography ‘natural paths’ and surviving Roman roads Circuitscape Omnidirectional map calculating the ‘natural paths’ of England and Wales calculated from Digimap supplied elevation data Palmisano, A., Brookes, S. and Reynolds, A. 2015. Omnidirectional map of England and Wales. https://www.ucl.ac.uk/early- medieval-atlas/MapData/Omnidirectional 1. Historic landscape in context 2. The benefits of Digimap 3. Digimap data and modelling long-term change 4. Digimap data in teaching and learning 5. Conclusion
  16. 16. Percolation of modern road intersections 3. Digimap data and modelling long-term change Example: Transport geography Arcaute, E., Brookes, S., Brown, T., Lake, M. and A. Reynolds, forthcoming. Dots on a Map: percolation analysis and English settlement 1. Historic landscape in context 2. The benefits of Digimap 3. Digimap data and modelling long-term change 4. Digimap data in teaching and learning 5. Conclusion
  17. 17. Percolation of road intersections Start with giant cluster at high distance dmax=5km and reduce threshold ➢ Islands and remote places ➢ Natural barriers ➢ Regional divisions ➢ cities Multiplicity of percolation transitions Hierarchical organisation 10 largest clusters colour coded by size
  18. 18. 3. Digimap data and modelling long-term change Weekly income per capita NUTS2 layer: British counties Average house price over 5km grid (2013 data) Example: Transport geography ….and the North/South divide? Percolation 1km clusters Predictive tool? 1. Historic landscape in context 2. The benefits of Digimap 3. Digimap data and modelling long-term change 4. Digimap data in teaching and learning 5. Conclusion
  19. 19. 4. Digimap data in teaching and learning Some benefits • Embedded in academic discourse: Medieval Archaeology 2016–7, 25% with Digimap data • Inherently multidisciplinary but promotes interdisciplinarity • Engage students in primary evidence (e.g. ground truthing; historic environment records) • Promotes critical thinking: the need to clean data; counter-mapping • New ways of seeing: interactive, networked, hypermediated… 1. Historic landscape in context 2. The benefits of Digimap 3. Digimap data and modelling long-term change 4. Digimap data in teaching and learning 5. Conclusion
  20. 20. • Multi-scalar ‘reading the landscape’ (local, regional, and national) • “Richest historical document we possess” • Deep and significant understandings of the spatialisation of human culture 5. Conclusion 1. Historic landscape in context 2. The benefits of Digimap 3. Digimap data and modelling long-term change 4. Digimap data in teaching and learning 5. Conclusion
  21. 21. Acknowledgements:

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