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The archaeology of emptiness? Understanding open urban spaces in the medieval world

Jervis, Ben ORCID:, Cembrzyński, Pawel, Fleisher, Jeff, Tys, Dries and Wynne-Jones, Stephanie 2021. The archaeology of emptiness? Understanding open urban spaces in the medieval world. Journal of Urban Archaeology 4 , pp. 221-246. 10.1484/J.JUA.5.126601

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Using examples from medieval Europe and Africa, an approach to understanding urban open spaces is proposed. We argue that new digital and high-resolution methodologies, combined with interpretive frameworks which stress the affective capacities of the material world, call for a reappraisal of open spaces as places of disruption, creativity, and emergent urbanity. We advance an intensive approach to create a methodological basis on which to reimagine emptiness as a stimulus for interaction, applying Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of smooth/striated space. Key themes are the role of open spaces in the negotiation of power, their capacity to facilitate encounters, and their role as a resource from which distinctive forms of urbanity might emerge. The paper advocates for greater attention to be paid to open spaces in the study of medieval urbanism.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Publisher: Urban Archaeology
ISSN: 2736-2426
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 17 March 2021
Date of Acceptance: 17 March 2021
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2024 04:15

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