Today• What is ‘domestic’ archaeology?• What can it tell us about social history?• Social revolutions and personal adaptations
The rich man in his castle, The poor man at his gate, He made them, high or lowly, And ordered their estate.Ce-cil F. Al-ex-an-der, Hymns for Lit-tle Child-ren, 1848Our domestic arrangements reveal a lot about the society in which we live.
Domestic SpacesOf or belonging to the home, house, orhousehold; pertaining to ones place ofresidence or family affairs; household, home,‘family’ Oxford English DictionaryHow have our domestic habits changed?What can be considered domestic?Can we see the signs of this changing world?
Social Changes and Personal Responses• Actually though changes in the ways that people live can be enormous.• Changes in society which we have already looked at caused changes in lifestyle and housing• But peoples houses were (and are!) also adapted and modified to suit their needs and aspirations. Houses are the manifestation of the personal, family and social relationships which make up domestic life.
Public and Private SpacesWe have come to associate thedomestic with the private this is avery recent innovation in thinkingwhich even today doesn’t makemuch sense.
Large Scale ChangesWe can see these large scale changes in theurban landscape.A little bit of detective work can give us clues to:• Why an area looks as it does• When an area was developed• Who an area was built for
AdaptationChanges are still taking place, things which today seemlike they might be small additions (conservatories)minor changes (knocking through into the dining room)or adaptations which are now taken for granted(conversion of houses to flats) may be seen as‘watershed’ moments in the development of housing.
ConclusionDomestic archaeology is the archaeology ofchanging public and private space.Changes happen quickly and can be seen in thehouses we live in (we are often responsible!)
During Coffee…Changes in domestic life happen very quicklyHow many cupboards do you remember in your parents orgrandparents houses when you were a child?Who remembers seeing an outdoor toilet?
Optional Further ReadingDomestic InteriorsDowney, GeorginaOxford, Berg 2013English houses 1300-1800: vernacular architecture, social lifeJohnson, MatthewLondon, Longman, 240pp. 2010StuffMiller, DanielCambridge, Polity Press, 2010Space, Property, and Propriety in Urban EnglandHarding, Vanessa.Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Volume 32, Number 4, Spring 2002,pp. 549-569 (Article)Published by The MIT PressDomestic Space: reading the nineteenth-century interiorBryden, Inga and Floyd, JanetManchester and New York; Manchester University Press, 1999Domestic Interiors Project Bibliography: http://csdi.rca.ac.uk/didb/biblio.php