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IMC 2019: Sessions

Session 1745: Materialities and Mapping Medieval Townscapes

Thursday 4 July 2019, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:Historic Towns Trust / British Historic Towns Atlas
Organiser:Dan Terkla, Department of English, Illinois Wesleyan University
Moderator/Chair:Keith Lilley, School of Geography, Archaeology & Palaeoecology, Queen's University Belfast
Paper 1745-aA Spatial Odyssey: 50 Years of Materialising Medieval Townscapes through the British Historic Towns Atlas
(Language: English)
Keith Lilley, School of Geography, Archaeology & Palaeoecology, Queen's University Belfast
Vanessa Harding, Department of History, Classics & Archaeology, Birkbeck, University of London
Index terms: Geography and Settlement Studies, Local History
Paper 1745-bOxford: 450 Years of Mapping the City
(Language: English)
Julian T. Munby, Oxford Archaeology
Index terms: Archaeology - Sites, Geography and Settlement Studies
Paper 1745-cMapping Exteriors, Perceiving Interiors: Medieval Cartography and the Contemporaneous Experience of Urban Architectural Space
(Language: English)
Tadhg O'Keeffe, School of Archaeology, University College Dublin
Index terms: Architecture - Secular, Geography and Settlement Studies

2019 sees the 50th anniversary of the publication of the first European Historic Towns Atlas (EHTA), which was the work of the then newly formed British Historic Towns Atlas (BHTA). This 'Mappings' session will explore the EHTA as a basis for thinking through ‘materialities and mapping medieval townscapes’. Half a century on and the BHTA is still very much active with recent atlases published on the major medieval urban centres of York and Winchester, as well as smaller towns such as Windsor and Eton, and also associated mapping of other medieval towns and cities including Oxford, Kingston-upon-Hull and London (before 1520). The session will use examples of British and European HTA mappings, reflecting on how the material urban landscape is itself 'materialised' through the act of map-making. To examine this, the session will take a comparative approach and cover a range of historic towns atlases, including those from beyond Britain, to 'open up the map'. Drawing on interdisciplinary methods and techniques, one of the significant challenges of mapping medieval townscapes is integrating a range of often fragmentary material to try to visualise in cartographic form the continuous urban landscape. Over the past 50 years the EHTAs have steadily refined and improved these mapping methods, building on earlier scholarly traditions of medievalists using mapping to visualise material urban places. The time is now right, then, in 2019, to pause and reflect both on this progress made but also to reflect on the future of the EHTA and its mappings of medieval townscapes in a digital age.