Abstract/Details

Mapping cultural and archaeological meanings: Representing landscapes and pasts in 19th century Ireland


2001 2001

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Abstract (summary)

This dissertation explores maps as powerful representations of landscapes and pasts. The Ordnance Survey maps of 19th century Ireland are artifacts encoded with messages about social identity, social relations of power and are culturally meaningful within their historical context. Maps are shaped by the contemporary understandings of people, landscapes and the past, and in turn help to influence and reinforce those perceptions. By making maps the subject of problem-directed research, I questioned the role of maps in reflecting and shaping cultural perceptions of space and the past on the landscape, and illustrated that maps are sites of many interactions.

The first edition Ordnance Survey maps of a study area in Co. Sligo (northwestern Ireland) were systematically analyzed. Using a phenomenological approach to landscape (which is both theoretical and methodological), I investigated how the maps represented the experiential landscape and past: how they depicted dwelling and belonging in place; movement and action through space; and a sense of both of these as constructed in time, specifically in the past.

The process of surveying and mapping, as well as the maps themselves, are a complex mediation of many different perspectives and sometimes conflicting knowledges of place, time and meaning held by different groups including: the Ordnance Survey officials, field surveyors, Victorian antiquarians, the landlord class, the local tenantry. Although the maps depicted colonial images of the landscape, people and past, they also recorded local knowledge, access and intimacy and a sense of belonging. This research adds the voice (or in some cases the conspicuous and intended silence) of the local community to our understanding of the early 19th century in Ireland. More than colonial tools, maps are useful for revealing the experiences of the local people living in the landscape.

The maps also encoded an understanding of the Irish past. Mapping places of the past created powerful images that helped to shape and reinforce competing notions of social identity, social relations of power and cultural meaning. This research illustrates how the Ordnance Survey maps of the early 19th century shaped the construction of the past and the tradition of archaeology in Ireland.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Archaeology;
European history
Classification
0324: Archaeology
0335: European history
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences; Archaeological; Cultural; Ireland; Landscapes; Nineteenth century; Ordnance Survey maps
Title
Mapping cultural and archaeological meanings: Representing landscapes and pasts in 19th century Ireland
Author
Smith, Angele Patricia
Number of pages
307
Publication year
2001
Degree date
2001
School code
0118
Source
DAI-A 62/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780493084282, 0493084282
Advisor
Wobst, H. Martin
University/institution
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3000348
ProQuest document ID
230580043
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/230580043
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