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Title: Phased Aviation Archaeology Research [PAAR] : development and application of a standardised methodology to Second World War aircraft sites in Scotland
Author: Christian, Terence Alexander
ISNI:       0000 0004 5360 6022
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2014
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Past research has focused on aircraft wreck sites as historic entities with characteristics similar to any other archaeological site. The Phased Aviation Archaeology Research [PAAR] Methodology is the first study to examine historic aircraft wreck sites as unique, self-contained data sets. With a production total of nearly 500,000 units, combat aircraft represent one of the largest composite artefact classifications of the Second World War. Despite the vast production quantities, the number of archaeologically secure specimens has been drastically reduced by salvage, corrosion/decay and haphazard research. Improper research and conservation practices, usually employed by the enthusiastic but inexpert avocational aviation archaeology community, are responsible for much of the site attrition since the 1960s/1970s. Sites in close proximity to areas of human habitation have drawn thousands of hill walkers who encounter, handle and re-deposit aircraft wreck site artefacts. When combined with the media attention which often accompanies excavation of aircraft wrecks, the perceived ease of artefact identification in the internet age emboldens history enthusiasts to acquire aircraft debris without regard to the contextual integrity of air wreck sites. This dissertation addresses the lack of methodological rigour in the aviation archaeology sub-discipline through the development and application of the Phased Aviation Archaeology Research [PAAR] Methodology. Following a discussion of statutory protections for aircraft wreck sites in the United Kingdom, the practices and procedures of both avocational and professional organisations involved in aviation wreck investigations are examined. Taking into account the best practices of each of these communities, the proposed PAAR Methodology enhances standard archaeological methodology by establishing a systematic approach uniquely appropriate for the study of aircraft wrecks. By combining historical primary sources and modern archaeological and air crash investigative techniques to examine Second World War aircraft wreck sites, the PAAR Methodology both compensates for tourism induced site modification and provides a template for future resource management. Field surveys of eight Second World War wreck sites, including excavation of de Havilland Mosquito MM244 and Consolidated LB-30A AM261, assess the effectiveness of the PAAR Methodology.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: CC Archaeology