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Sourcebook for Garden Archaeology

Methods, Techniques, Interpretations and Field Examples


Edited By Amina-Aïcha Malek

The Sourcebook for Garden Archaeology addresses the increasing need among archaeologists, who discover a garden during their own excavation project, for advice and update on current issues in garden archaeology. It also aims at stimulating broader interest in garden archaeology. Archaeologists with no specific training in garden archaeology will read about specific problems of soil archaeology with a handful of well-developed techniques, critical discussions and a number of extremely different uses. Methods are described in sufficient detail for any archaeologist to engage into field work, adapt them to their own context and develop their own methodology. While the Sourcebook aims at bringing together different disciplines related to garden archaeology and providing an overview of present knowledge, it also hopes to encourage development of new directions for the future.


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Part V The Enhanced Nature: Analyzing Elements of the Garden 419


Part V The Enhanced Nature: Analyzing Elements of the Garden Each artifact found in gardens, from earth patterns, biological residues, and built elements, is a fragile trace of past cultural manipulations of nature. Their study illuminates the cultural context under which the garden was designed. The following chapters explore the issues at stake when reading such a complex range of artifacts in their original settings, which have more or less survived, and discuss the results of theses interpretations. The fifth part of the volume opens with a discussion on waterworks, the most enduring components of gardens that play a key role in their being and design. James Wescoat, a landscape geographer, discusses how the study of hydrology allows the discernment and understanding of forms of culture specific to different geographic contexts. He first suggests a conceptual framework deriving from his understanding of “water issues” to be considered in garden archaeology. Then he explains how archaeological research on garden waterworks requires the full suite of methods examined in the preceding chapters, from topographical studies of gravity flow piping systems and remote sensing of canal and drainage systems; to excavation of water sources and conveyance, display, and drainage systems; to biological inferences about the hydrometeorology, fish ponds, aquatic plantings, etc., of gardens. Finally he presents the material culture of waterworks (fountainheads and tools) and in waterworks (sediments in wells and privies) and proposes lines of inquiry to explore their cultural aspects. Wilhelmina Jashemski, Stefano de Caro, and Elizabeth Kryder-Reid, authors of the...

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