Reclaiming past, present and future stories of a deserted medieval village
Paper by Leah Fusco
Given at Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG) conference on December 21, 2016
Abstract: This practice-based research explores challenges in documenting the physically shifting site of a deserted medieval village, previously an island and now a reclaimed landscape, located on a saltmarsh in East Sussex. Marshlands are areas of transience; geographic and human details are revealed and concealed repeatedly through dynamic water levels. I’m interested in how illustration can explore and capture alternative timeframes and readings of place.
Scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979, Northeye DMV has experienced significant change since documentation of the site began in the 13th Century. Tsunamis, salt mines, the Black Death and smuggling have shaped the physical geography and socio economic history of the area, with a series of shallow trenches remaining as the only visual evidence of the village foundations at the site.
Reclaiming stories across 1000 years, from Holloways and smuggling routes to soil profiles to drainage management, I propose to reveal shifting, overlapping and converging stories from above, below and ground level at Northeye DMV.
I’m interested in scientific and experiential modes of measurement through fieldwork, encompassing oral histories, drawing, archival research and geoarchaeological information
This submission forms part of my practice-based PhD research exploring lost histories in landscapes, supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and seeks to build on developments between visual creative practice and humanity disciplines. I am currently initiating a new educational project that involves cross disciplinary fieldwork methods for the visualisation of site.