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“Building (Ancient) Lives": New perspectives on the past for a sustainable future

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages25-30
Number of pages6
VolumeSpring 2016
Issue number48
JournalThe European Archaeologist
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2016

Abstract

Studying the past to inform the future is highly relevant, given the need to reduce modern reliance on non-renewable resources and cut carbon output. The research project “Building (Ancient) Lives”, funded since May 2015 by The Leverhulme Trust as an Early Career Fellowship in Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh (UK) wishes to address this for the built environment. The project sets out to advance understanding of ancient constructions and materials by a new, architecturally-led analysis of early architectures across different European landscapes. The study will not only investigate how people built in the past, but also produce results relevant to current issues of sustainable building. In collaboration with architects and engineers the outcomes aim to inspire
modern sustainable construction and architectural design, and inform the development of low-carbon materials. The project is particularly interested in houses, the homes of the past, present and future. Working with artists and communities will explore a less technical, more emotionally involved
dialogue with past and future architectures in the context of designing homes responding to the needs of community resilience.

The explicitly architectural and ecological aspects of this project will include and reach beyond conventional archaeological studies. The aim is not to find direct parallels between prehistoric and modern architecture, but to explore constants in material and constructional performance and resourcing as a first step to inspire a sustainably built future. In return, the dialogue with architects,
engineers and artists will enhance reconstructions of the prehistoric built environment.

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