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Living Landscape: Reading Hadrian's Wall

Living Landscape: Reading Hadrian's Wall AbstractHadrian's Wall has for long been considered – indeed re-created – as something purely 'Roman'. Its 'original' remains have been treated as separate from those of the 1,500 years' of use that have followed since it was 'abandoned', as if its life-span ended with its final phase of use at a distant point in the early fifth century (if not with its final phase of 'proper' construction). Yet Hadrian's Wall still exists in the contemporary landscape. This paper provides a focus on the long life of the frontier landscape of the Wall and the changing materiality and function of this substantial monument. The fixation with separating a past 'authentic' Hadrian's Wall from its present living form is based on a body of archaeological theory and method that aims to delimit the ancient heritage so that it can be interpreted, protected, communicated and managed. It is argued that in landscape terms this approach paradoxically separates the past from the present, and thus breaks the chain of continuity that for many is essential to the construction of the landscape. As a living, transforming and contextualised part of landscape, the character of this ancient monument is transformational, and its living history as a debatable land should always be open for reinterpretation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Landscapes Taylor & Francis

Living Landscape: Reading Hadrian's Wall

Landscapes , Volume 12 (2): 22 – Dec 1, 2011
22 pages

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References (72)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2011 Maney Publishing
ISSN
2040-8153
eISSN
1466-2035
DOI
10.1179/lan.2011.12.2.41
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractHadrian's Wall has for long been considered – indeed re-created – as something purely 'Roman'. Its 'original' remains have been treated as separate from those of the 1,500 years' of use that have followed since it was 'abandoned', as if its life-span ended with its final phase of use at a distant point in the early fifth century (if not with its final phase of 'proper' construction). Yet Hadrian's Wall still exists in the contemporary landscape. This paper provides a focus on the long life of the frontier landscape of the Wall and the changing materiality and function of this substantial monument. The fixation with separating a past 'authentic' Hadrian's Wall from its present living form is based on a body of archaeological theory and method that aims to delimit the ancient heritage so that it can be interpreted, protected, communicated and managed. It is argued that in landscape terms this approach paradoxically separates the past from the present, and thus breaks the chain of continuity that for many is essential to the construction of the landscape. As a living, transforming and contextualised part of landscape, the character of this ancient monument is transformational, and its living history as a debatable land should always be open for reinterpretation.

Journal

LandscapesTaylor & Francis

Published: Dec 1, 2011

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