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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.

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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

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 it

in Castles and Colonists

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
The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries

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
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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
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Folk therapeutics and ‘English’ medicine in Rajasthan

This chapter utilises ethnographic and historical material to examine the contemporary character of medical pluralism in rural Rajasthan, north India. The current social organisation of rural therapeutic practice and the conceptual structuring of lay people’s preferences for different forms of treatment offer some clues for an archaeological investigation of the

in Western medicine as contested knowledge

4 The concealment of bodies during the military dictatorship in Uruguay (1973–84)1 José López Mazz The political violence that occurred in Latin America during the second half of the twentieth century was deeply rooted in historic and prehistoric cultural traditions. To study it in a scientific way accordingly requires both the development of a specific set of cultural and historical methodologies and a leading role to be played by archaeological techniques and forensic anthropology. Our focus is in part on apprehending and understanding violent practices

in Human remains and identification

. While in Ceylon Gregory did not forget Ireland. Writing from Kandy to the editor of the Galway Vindicator very soon after his arrival, Gregory advocated the establishment of a society for the preservation of ancient monuments within the county, to be called the Archaeological Society of Galway (the Galway Archaeological and Historical Society was not founded until 1900). Gregory also mentioned some of the monuments, such as the round tower at Kilmacduagh, which he thought to be on the verge of collapse and added that ‘were I at

in Curating empire
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English identity and the Scottish ‘other’, 1586–1625

veiled political commentaries. As such, their works propagated an English national identity based on a sense of superiority over the Scottish ‘other’. Concurrently, writers diverged in their explanations of ancient history. Some accounts supported the idea that England was established by the Trojan warrior, Brutus, while others argued that the Saxons were the kingdom’s true founders. Regardless, both versions utilised archaeological evidence in the form of language studies and Roman ruins to support their historical studies. Many scholars also equated British with

in Local antiquities, local identities