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SpringerBriefs in Geography
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Heritage Stone Conservation in Urban Churchyards

Merging Necrogeography, Historical Archaeology, and Geomorphology

Authors: Thornbush, Mary, Thornbush, Sylvia E.

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About this book

This book provides a cross-disciplinary perspective on the degradation and deterioration of the cultural record encompassed by urban headstones located in parish churchyards. Its interdisciplinary approach allows the geomorphological analysis of rock weathering to be combined with the impacts on the cultural record, its interpretation, and management. In particular, by examining the impacts of air pollution on the weathering of these cultural markers, cross-temporal assessments can provide valuable information concerning the condition of the record and its sustainability potential as monuments of cultural heritage.

Churchyards located in urban settings have grown in interest for the purposes of heritage conservation research. Specifically, headstones represent part of the historical and archaeological record and are recognised as a component of historical archaeology. They are also now approached from the standpoint of heritage conservation, either as monuments or cultural stone as well as being part of necrogeography through their address of burial and stone decay.

In this brief, headstones located in parish churchyards in England and Scotland, as part of the Anglican record for the Church of England and the Presbyterian record for the Church of Scotland, were examined using non-destructive methods based on field observations since preliminary research in 2006 as part of a decadal scale (long-term) study. This multisite investigation captures the record since the 17th century, and mainly comprises limestone (England) and sandstone (Scotland) headstone markers that still remain upright. Most studied headstones appear before the 19th century, when this study’s temporal focus terminates. Seriations performed on the available record have revealed trends in style based on inscriptions, epitaphs, and motifs as well as quantified dimensions, shapes, and more.

This study represents an attempt to pictorially record cultural stone and to observe cross-temporal and spatial change at various scales. As such, it offers a valuable resource for practitioners, e.g. conservators and archaeologists, as well as for students and researchers.

About the authors

Dr Mary J. Thornbush is a Member of Oriel College at the University of Oxford, England, UK and concurrently a Research Fellow at Cardiff University in Wales, UK. She was until recently Adjunct Professor in Geography (since 2014) and Associate Member of the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (since 2015) at Brock University, Canada. She has been working on the Weathering of Headstones in British Churchyards project since 2007 (with preliminary research in 2006), while also implementing the Ivy on Walls project (2006–2007) as part of the Rock Breakdown Laboratory at the University of Oxford, UK, where she obtained her doctorate at Oriel College in 2006. Dr Thornbush has produced nearly 70 publications in academic journals and books, including edited volumes, conference proceeding, briefs, and encyclopedias, since 2004. She has participated in over 25 conferences and workshops to disseminate her research since 2000. Her academic career has brought her to various universities in North America and Europe, where she has lectured in geography and the environment since 2008. She is a geomorphologist with expertise in rock weathering, heritage conservation, and interdisciplinary research; and is currently developing necogeography as physical geography.

Sylvia E. Thornbush has been a historical archaeologist at the University of Edinburgh (Scotland, UK) since 2007. Her specific research interests include mortuary remains, the archaeology of death, feminist archaeology, and underwater archaeology. She has published in interdisciplinary journals, including part of a special issue on Geomorphology, Culture, and Place in the journal Applied Geography (2013) and co-authored books for Bentham Science Publishers, including Photographs Across Time: Studies in Urban Landscapes (2015) and Changing Deathscapes: Headstones in Urban British Churchyards (2018). 

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Table of contents (8 chapters)
  • Introduction

    Pages 1-3

    Thornbush, Mary J. (et al.)

  • Urban Sites

    Pages 5-16

    Thornbush, Mary J. (et al.)

  • Research Background

    Pages 17-27

    Thornbush, Mary J. (et al.)

  • Assessing the Record

    Pages 29-32

    Thornbush, Mary J. (et al.)

  • Stylistic Trends

    Pages 33-45

    Thornbush, Mary J. (et al.)

Buy this book

eBook 46,00 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-76363-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover 57,19 €
price for Spain (gross)
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Heritage Stone Conservation in Urban Churchyards
Book Subtitle
Merging Necrogeography, Historical Archaeology, and Geomorphology
Authors
Series Title
SpringerBriefs in Geography
Copyright
2018
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-76363-7
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-76363-7
Softcover ISBN
978-3-319-76362-0
Series ISSN
2211-4165
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XI, 80
Number of Illustrations
24 illustrations in colour
Topics