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‘Gaining Ground’: new publications


As the year draws to a close I am happy to announce another two project outputs. After the SAA Chicago 2022 sessionorganised (along with Matt Edgeworth and Jeff Benajmin), we have put together a special journal forum for Journal of Contemporary Archaeology, entitled: ‘Making Ground: The Archaeology of Waste Landscapes‘.

A view of several sets of football goal posts on the green fields of Hackney Marsh. The corner of the penalty box is seen painte dont he grass. The enarest goal mouth is muddy and worn and the sky is grey. A line of tres is in the background.

This has just been published online and comprises a collection of papers by myself and eight others. These examine how waste creates and reshapes our contemporary landscapes in many different ways.  For example, land reclamations using waste rock or rubble can come to be mistaken for “natural” terrain after decades of familiar use. In other cases, waste-modified landscapes, such as industrial spoil heaps, are seen as eyesores and removed or reshaped better to resemble natural landforms. Whether perceived negatively or not, waste landscapes can nonetheless sometimes become social, material, ecological, creative and politically generative terrains, allowing opportunities for new activities and valuations to take place. It is the investigation of these complex associations and the valuations of such waste landscapes that the forum examines.

My own paper, “Gaining Ground: Bomb Rubble, Reclamation and Revenance” examines the complex resonances of millions onf tonnes of dumped bomb rubble at Hackney and Leyton marshes. I explore how the rubble of conflict, despite its violent origins, can nonetheless become generative with the reclaimed ground acting as place of sporting hertiage, memorial and contestation.

My paper and the introduction to the special forum can be viewed using the following links:

2023. “Gaining Ground: Bomb Rubble, Reclamation and Revenance.” Journal of Contemporary Archaeology 10(1), 25–48 . 10.1558/jca.25782

2023. [with Matt Edgeworth and Jeff Benjamin]. “Introduction: Making Ground: The Archaeology of Waste Landscapes”. Journal of Contemporary Archaeology 10(1), 1-7. 10.1558/jca.25622

The rest of the papers can be viewed here:

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