Pca 2

PCA 2 font puliti_gao 6 17/05/12 09.47 Pagina 5 PCA 2 (2012) ISSN: 2039-7895 (pp. 5-6)P o s t - C l a s s i c a l A r c h a e o l o g i e s EDITORIAL
Geographers, historians and archaeologists have long offered compre- hensive analyses of past urban transformations. In so doing, each sep- arate discipline has developed specific theoretical and methodological frame-works and distinct paths of research. Rarely though is there an attemptmade to surmount the disciplinary boundaries that separate them, propos-ing unified directions for research. The use of spatial analysis through appli-cation of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) compels a rethinking ofeach of these positions, as it has in other fields. The use of these new ‘spa-tial technologies’ in historical and archaeological study makes an integratedanalysis indispensable, both for those who focus on the longue durée as wellas in those devoted to more specific chronological periods. In both cases GISplatforms provide the scope to integrate a variety of sources, from mate-rial culture (derived from archaeology or the study of architecture), throughto documentary sources, and including texts, cartography, aerial photos, andiconography. The Research section of this second issue of PCA presentseight papers in which spatial technologies are applied to the study of late Ro-man and medieval European cities. Most of the contributions show differ-ent possible applications of spatial analysis to the study of the evolution ofurban space during the medieval period and the contribution of an interdis-ciplinary approach to achieving new historical results and research directions.
The sections on York, Antwerp, Tours and Padua were presented at a con-gress on ‘Spatial Technologies and the Medieval City’ in Padua, May 20121,organized by Alexandra Chavarría and Keith Lilley (the editors of this sec-tion). Three further cases - Bordeaux, Siena and Grosseto – have been addedbecause of the relevance of their results. The last paper, by Lilley, offers acritical review of the relevance of recent debates in geography, regarding crit-ical cartography, to users of GIS and other ‘spatial technologies’ in the pro-duction of digital maps in archaeology and history. 1 In relationship with the activities of the project ARMEP (granted by the CARIPARO Founda-tion as Eccellenza Project 06).
PCA 2 font puliti_gao 6 17/05/12 09.47 Pagina 6 This second PCA also includes some reflections on public archaeology, for example on the practice of protecting the testimony of the past whichis brought to light by archaeology. Although differing terminology is used –‘rescue archaeology’ in the UK, ‘archeologia di emergenza’ in Italy,‘archéologie preventive’ in France, etc - there is a common objective: togather into informative archives scientifically correct and accessible infor-mation about the past, which archaeological practice inevitably destroys.
However, the results of this archaeological practice are often very scarcein relation to the resources invested - which are also very different in the5 countries considered (UK, France, Italy, Norway, Spain). The institution-al frameworks also differ in these countries, with more or less central con-trol or direction, and more or less room for polycentric participation. In thesphere of protection, we also need to reflect deeply on interdisciplinary ap-proaches, a subject that we will pursue in the next volumes of PCA. Itmakes little sense to separate protection into so many sectors (environ-mental, landscape, settlement, architectural), on the basis of historical ordisciplinary boxes. If we believe that the parameters for protection are notthe market value of objects, but the historical significance of the testimonyof the past, we can not hope for complete knowledge. However, we mustavoid an interpretation which leads to a paroxysm of protection of every sin-gle piece of masonry scattered in the countryside or in the cellars of a city. In the Retrospect section, Andrzej Buko offers an interesting reading of the development of Polish archaeology from the 19th century to the pres-ent day, when archaeology has reformulated a close relationship with histo-ry. This collaboration was prominent during the 1950s, when it proposed areconstruction of the Polish state which echoed the beginnings of medievalarchaeology in Italy and France. It is necessary to review this relationshipbetween archaeology and history, in order to consider not only the oppor-tunity for an interdisciplinary strategy, but also its concrete and recurrentrisks: the subordination of material data to the documentary sources, whichhas had, and still has, deleterious consequences for archaeology.
The ‘Project’ chosen for this issue centres on the WIKI platform cre- ated by the French team led by Pascale Chevalier and Christian Sapin forCARE (Corpus architecturae religiosae europeae), one of the most am-bitious projects concerning the middle ages in Europe to have been de-veloped in recent years.
In a difficult economic phase, that puts at risk the very survival of Eu- rope, this initiative, like others that involve partners of different nations,is a further benchmark for the construction of an international scientificcommunity. This is the perspective that has guided us in the foundationof Post-Classical Archaeologies and the second issue confirms the objec-tives we set ourselves: a European magazine to discuss the current con-ditions of archaeology in different countries and to propose new researchdirections over broad chronological periods, from an interdisciplinary andinnovative perspective, based on the contribution of new technologies.

Source: http://www.postclassical.it/vol.2_files/editorial%20PCA2.pdf

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