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Margaret Worthington
Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Audrey Cruse

In ancient Greece and Rome magical and religious healing continued to be practised at the same time as a burgeoning of research and learning in the natural sciences was promoting a seemingly more rational and scientific approach to medicine. Was there, then, a dichotomy in medical treatment or was the situation more complex? This paper draws on historical textual sources as well as archaeological research in examining the question in more detail. Some early texts, such as the Egyptian papyri from about 2,600 bc and the Hippocratic Corpus from the third and fourth centuries bc, contain an intriguing mixture of scientific and religious material. Archaeological evidence from, for example, sites of healing sanctuaries from ancient times, show medical prescriptions used as part of votive offerings and religious inscriptions on surgical instruments, while physicians were prominent among donators to shrines. Other archaeological finds such as the contents of rubbish tips, buried hoards, sepulchral deposits and stray artefacts from occupation levels, have also added to the archive of medical material available for discussion. The paper concludes that such intertwinings of religion and science were not only common in Roman medicine but, in fact, continue into the present time.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Managing madness in early nineteenth-century asylums

An archaeology of lunacy examines the historic lunatic asylum from an interdisciplinary perspective, employing methods drawn from archaeology, social geography, and history to create a holistic view of the built heritage of the asylum as a distinctive building type. In the popular imagination, historic lunatic asylums were dark, monolithic, and homogenous, instruments for social confinement and punishment. This book aims to redress this historical reputation, showing how the built environment and material worlds of lunatic asylums were distinctive and idiosyncratic – and highly regional. They were also progressive spaces and proving grounds of architectural experimentation, where the reformed treatment practices known as moral management were trialled and refined. The standing remains of the nineteenth-century lunatic asylum system represent a unique opportunity to study a building-type in active transition, both materially and ideologically. When they were constructed, asylums were a composite of reform ideals, architectural materials, and innovative design approaches. An archaeological study of these institutions can offer a materially focused examination of how the buildings worked on a daily basis. This study combines critical analysis of the architecture, material remains, and historical documentary sources for lunatic asylums in England and Ireland. Students and scholars of later historical archaeology and built heritage will find the book a useful overview of this institutional site type, while historians of medicine will find the focus on interior design and architecture of use. The general public, for whom asylums frequently represent shadowy ruins or anonymous redevelopments, may be interested in learning more about the buildings.

Carole Rawcliffe

Many current assumptions about health provision in medieval English cities derive not from the surviving archival or archaeological evidence but from the pronouncements of Victorian sanitary reformers whose belief in scientific progress made them dismissive of earlier attempts to ameliorate the quality of urban life. Our own tendency to judge historical responses to disease by the exacting standards of modern biomedicine reflects the same anachronistic attitude, while a widespread conviction that England lagged centuries behind Italy in matters of health and hygiene seems to reinforce presumptions of ‘backwardness’ and ‘ignorance’. By contrast, this paper argues that a systematic exploration of primary source material reveals a very different approach to collective health, marked by direct intervention on the part of the crown and central government and the active involvement of urban communities, especially after the Black Death of 1348-49. A plethora of regulations for the elimination of recognized hazards was then accompanied by major schemes for environmental improvement, such as the introduction of piped water systems and arrangements for refuse collection.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Re-thinking Ludwik Fleck’s concept of the thought-collective according to the case of Serbian archaeology
Monika Milosavljević

over the last century, which distinguishes it from contemporary archaeology elsewhere for its conservatism. A dissection of the development and evolution of Serbian archaeology, therefore, is fruitful for examining how specific shifts in thought occur in non-­overarching exceptions to the norm (Palavestra and Babić, 2016). As a case study, this work directly treats what Kuhn would call a ‘paradigm shift’: the late introduction of cultural-historical archaeology to Serbia. The objective is not to describe practices in archaeology in detail, but rather to discuss

in Communities and knowledge production in archaeology
Abstract only
Victoria L. McAlister

under-documented societies like late medieval Ireland to expose historical processes. The people living around tower houses were not the elites of political and religious life who dominate the surviving documentation, so this research provides new insights. There are many limitations to both the archaeological and historical records when examining the social experience of late medieval and early modern Ireland. A multidisciplinary methodology at times provides contrasting evidence that needs to be reconciled, but also compensates for each discipline's limitations

in The Irish tower house
Brian Hoggard

not stone cold all that mean time day nor night and your private Enemies will never after have any power upon you either in Body or Goods, So be it.14 Other later examples of the use of witch-bottles can also be found in the historical as well as archaeological record. During a case of spirit possession in Bristol in 1762 a local cunning-woman was consulted who confirmed that witchcraft was responsible for the fits, visions, voices and other manifestations that were suffered by the daughters of Richard Giles, an innkeeper. Her recommendation was that a witch

in Beyond the witch trials
Eric Klingelhofer

ruins quite differently than Thomas Herron, who draws from topography and archaeology in his Spenserian studies. 7 Yet Burlinson correctly observed that the Kilcolman excavations were not in search of Spenser’s artistic imagination: they did not attempt to ‘recover the creative experience of the poet’. 8 Upon reflection, archaeological interpretation here does try to establish an historical and material context for Spenser’s activities and his ideas. But it cannot provide insight, only a setting, a frame, in which his art can be better viewed, perhaps by separating

in Castles and Colonists
The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries
John Beckett

century. The second was the development within antiquarianism of natural historical and archaeological studies. Archaeology, although still within the family of antiquarian study, was emerging as a discipline in its own right, particularly with the founding in 1770 of the journal Archaeologia. Finally, the county history grew in terms of both output and size. What Dugdale and Thoroton had achieved in a single folio volume now multiplied into two, four and as many as twelve to a county. Although quantity was not necessarily paralleled by quality, it would be churlish to

in Writing local history
Abstract only
Katherine Fennelly

planners in ways that are rarely recorded explicitly. So, what does an archaeology of lunacy look like? While lunacy in the past was not exclusively institutional, the study of historic asylums allows for a quantitative survey of the ways in which lunacy was conceived of and treated. This study of the subject of lunacy and asylums focuses, therefore, on the archaeology of those institutions where lunacy was managed within a framework: the asylums. Approaches to this subject in the United States and Australia have drawn heavily on historical

in An archaeology of lunacy