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Medieval Material Culture: Explorations of Play, Performance and Biographical Trajectories

Hall, Mark Anthony (2017) Medieval Material Culture: Explorations of Play, Performance and Biographical Trajectories. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Text (PhD theses (medieval material culture))
MAH PhD submitted May 2017 .pdf
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Abstract

My ten publications submitted here are offered for validation as a PhD by Publication. They represent a sample of my on-going research into elements of the medieval material culture of Scotland, set in a European context. The main body of evidence on which they draw is the archaeology (both excavated material and stray finds) of the medieval burgh of Perth. This material comprises a vital element of the archaeological collections of Perth Museum & Art Gallery, where I have been based for 22 years as the curator of the archaeology collections. This collection not only provided many of the key strands of evidence I have explored but also the wider inspiration to look at further examples and contrasts from Scotland and Europe. The submitted papers explore this evidence through three overlapping or entangled contexts – medieval Perth, medieval Scotland and medieval Europe –and through three overlapping themes: play, performance (encompassing belief and magic) and biographical trajectories. This work (which also connects to other published research of mine, including Hall 2001a-b; 2003; 2005c-e; 2006; 2011a; 2012a; 2013a and b; 2014a; 2015a-b; 2016b; 2017 and forthcoming a and b) is underpinned by the recognition that museum collections of medieval material culture exist as trace elements of biographical trajectories and that they are always amenable to fresh understanding. Their preservation in museum collections creates the facility to study both neglected objects, for example the general run of board game kit discussed in Publications 1 and 3, and objects which might seem to be fully known, for example the Lewis chessmen or medieval coinage discussed in Publications 4 and 10 respectively. The following synopsis of these publications outlines their themes and issues in the context of the wider debates to which they contribute. The discussion focuses upon the contribution that my publications have sought to make to the key, overlapping and interwoven themes that are their focus: play and performance (Publications 1, 2, 3 and 4, published respectively as Hall 2007; 2016a; 2014b and 2014c), sacrality, magic and performance with particular respect to the town and country debate (Publications 5, 6 and 7, published respectively as Hall 2011b; 2005a and 2005b) and biographical trajectories and performance (Publications 8, 9 and10, published respectively as Hall 2012b; 2014d and 2012c).

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > Archaeology (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > Archaeology (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.731525
Depositing User: Mr Mark Anthony Hall
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2018 09:29
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2018 09:50
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/18976

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