University of Sheffield Archaeology Research Seminar Series – The Archaeology of Waste Landscapes
Thursday, 23rd March 2023
4:20 pm to 5:30 pm
Hicks Building, D12 - Lecture Theatre 4 (52)
Free to all - refreshments provided
In this talk, Dr Jonathan Gardner will be introducing his current Leverhulme Trust and University of Edinburgh-funded research project ‘Reimagining British Waste Landscapes’.
The project examines how artificial landscapes produced from the waste of industrialisation (including reclaimed land and artificial hills) act as sites of heritage and creativity. Since late 2020, he has been examining a variety of 19th-21st century waste landscapes across the UK using a contemporary archaeology and critical heritage methodology combining fieldwork, archival and art historical research, and interviews with those using these sites. The project has taken him to a range of unusual locations, including a former ski slope on the Beckton ‘Alps’ (in East London) and the mysterious shale waste mountains of West Lothian, both of which he will talk about in more detail.
While the materials involved at each site are heterogeneous (these include Blitz rubble, oil shale mining spoil, demolition rubble, and coal slag), it is clear that such waste rarely remains ‘wasted’ for very long; instead, these landscape are often unexpectedly generative, and are frequently valued as habitats, places of leisure, and heritage sites.
Hicks Building, Sheffield University Campus