7.1 Introduction

This chapter deals with homes, households, workplaces, places of worship and assembly. All of these have been grouped together as ‘places’ following panel discussions which highlighted the problems of making an artificial break between places where people lived, places where they worked and places where they came together for other reasons such as worship, sociality or entertainment. This is a broad theme incorporating a range of research areas. However, ‘places’ here are taken mostly to include buildings or settlements and may therefore put more emphasis on urban places; the landscape aspects of ‘places’ will be developed in the next section. Again this is an artificial division (where does place stop and landscape begin?), but one which will be retained heuristically in order to give some shape to the topic. Marriage alliances and shipboard communities were all discussed as examples of topics that complicate the concept of ‘home.’

Many of the issues discussed in Theme 6 ‘People and Things’ are also pertinent here. Buildings are a kind of artefact of course, and they too can usefully be studied in terms of their biography. In fact, it is in the adaptation and development of buildings that the archaeological approach has its major advantage over traditional architectural history which is more concerned with design and intentionality; archaeology is often more concerned with seeing how buildings were actually used and how their inhabitants changed and developed them.

See also the ScARF Case Study: Burns Cottage at Alloway – the origins and archaeology of the Heritage Industry

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