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HERFORUM  July 2006

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Subject:

Re: Fires!

From:

Mike Shaw <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Issues related to Historic Environment Records <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 7 Jul 2006 13:00:13 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

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One problem of course is that archaeologists have been trying for a genration or more to get away from this straightjacket of trying to look for historical events in archaseological deposits.  The extreme end of this of course is Schliemann gazing upon the face of Agamemnon but at a more local level many places are bedevilled with the interpretation of every burnt deposit as being related to a particular documented fire when of course there were all sorts of major and minor unrecorded events to which a particular deposit could belong.  Hence I guess you can record fires as events but be prepared for this to then lead interpretation - though I guess it would be an argument for obtaining close scientifc dating evidence on burnt deposits.
 
Mike
 
 

________________________________

From: Issues related to Historic Environment Records on behalf of LEE, Edmund
Sent: Fri 07/07/2006 11:32
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Fires!



Interesting one Sheena, and very timely.

 

The 2nd edition of MIDAS will, as you may know, cover a greater range of types of information than the first edition. One area that is to be included is historical events, which, as you say, can give context and assist in planning and understanding the results of archaeological or survey work.

 

My colleague Tanja Sundstrom (currently on leave) will in the next few weeks be examining this area in detail, hopefully with input via a working group If HER folk want to give thought to this now though, via the list here that would be great!

 

Initial thinking is that a historical event as such might be a fairly straightforward entry. At the least you need some timespan information, and a note of what type of event is involved. Associated information (historical sources, location where it took place, associated people etc) is fairly familiar territory. A historical event would need to be associated with other records in an HER as well either directly through the database or by geographic coincidence via a GIS.

 

It gets more interesting when you want to record alternative versions of historical events. Do you have one historical event record with multiple 'types' and alternative sources / associated people etc, or treat the different alternatives as essentially separate records.

 

And of course the issue of what events you include. Those which have a large scale impact on the historic environment such as fires are clear candidates. 

 

I'd be most interested to hear what folk think.

 

Best wishes

 

Edmund Lee

English Heritage

Project Manager MIDAS 2nd edition

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Issues related to Historic Environment Records [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Sheena Payne
Sent: 07 July 2006 11:15
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Fires!

 

Dear all,

 

Does anyone have any ideas about how to go about recording a fire on the HER?  For instance, there are several recorded events where Worcester was destroyed by fire, either deliberately or otherwise, obviously leaving the potential for archaeological deposits of a burnt nature (although none so far attributed to any of these events!).  We have stumbled into this area whilst thinking about the recording of various sieges,  and felt that if a siege/battlefield is recorded then there must be some way of recording an event such as a fire too... Thoughts?!

 

Sheena Payne

Historic Environment Record Officer

26 The Butts,

Worcester

WR1 3PA

 

Tel: 01905 721133

Fax: 01905 722454

 

www.cityofworcester.gov.uk <http://www.cityofworcester.gov.uk/> 

www.worcestercitymuseums.org.uk <http://www.worcestercitymuseums.org.uk/> 

 

 

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