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Department of Archaeology

Research Projects

Publication details

Witcher, R.E., Tolia-Kelly, D.P. & Hingley, R. (2010). Archaeologies of Landscape. Excavating the Materialities of Hadrian's Wall. Journal of Material Culture 15(1): 105-128.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

This article interrogates the materiality of Hadrian’s Wall beyond its widespread perception as a monument of/to Ancient Rome. Encounters with this monument have generated multitudinous materialities: hegemonic, conflicting and ambiguous. These trajectories have their own material circulations in both solid and narrative forms. Here, we consider materiality through the cultures inspired by/of the Wall. Through the formulation of an interdisciplinary methodology and praxis, we contribute to landscape studies generally and Romano–British frontier studies in particular. Firstly, we consider the genealogies of thought through which the Wall has been created, including its definition as a contested border and its use to inform discourses of nation and empire. Secondly, the material landscapes of the Wall are considered through phenomenon and encounter informed by contemporary debates in anthropology, archaeology and cultural geography. As part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council funded Tales of the Frontier project - http://www.dur.ac.uk/roman.centre/hadrianswall - the authors aim to provide an enriched account of the materialities of the Wall beyond traditional narratives generated by fieldwork and ancient historical texts.

Department of Archaeology

Scottish Soldiers Project

Cooperating with the Palace Museum in China