We will develop and apply a coordinated methodology for the study of heritage values that uses both qualitative and data-intensive methods ranging from ethnography, to topic modelling, network analysis and crowdsourcing. Our approach revolves around the three foci described below.
The ‘long duree’ perspective:
If we examine a period of approximately 1,000 years, we can more fully observe the unfolding and reception of the duality opposing ‘civilisation’ and ‘barbarism’. A variety of conflicting concepts arise from how this opposition has played out, and reflect the extent and complexity of the territories that make up the British Isles, the histories of the people who live in these places and their relationships to those overseas.
The making of heritage values:
Heritage can have far wider meanings than those ‘authorised’ by archaeologists and other heritage professionals. It includes all the ‘uses, values and associations’ carried by the historic environment for stakeholders. How these are made, unmade and rehashed, however, requires close scrutiny of the field of ‘expert practices’ to understand the micro-politics of different positions, and the extent to which some of these ‘professional’ actions and ideas are internalized by other perspectives.
Integrated methodology and the digital conundrum:
In recent years, the proliferation of web infrastructures has challenged established epistemologies in public archaeology and heritage studies, as they have in the social sciences more generally. Through the online space, it has become possible to examine not just Internet cultures but also offline ones, and interrogate the same web data via research designs that can be both quantitatively representative and apt to delve deeply into the fluid evolving of human action and thought. This joined-up strategy is used to explore the manifold attitudes and behavior towards Iron Age, Roman and early Medieval heritages in contemporary Britain.