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Title: The potential of structural analysis in archaeological simulation and interpretation : a case study of medieval Winchester Cathedral precinct
Author: Miles, James Edward
ISNI:       0000 0004 6347 6145
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2017
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This multidisciplinary PhD provides an integration of structural analysis and archaeological interpretation, focused on the implications of methods used to generate virtual models and the analytical frameworks within which new interpretations emerge. It builds on established connections between disciplines in the University of Southampton’s Faculties of Humanities, Physical Sciences and Engineering, Engineering and the Environment and on the AHRC funded Parnassus and Portus research projects, and on international collaborations developed by the author. The main aims are: 1. To explore the benefits of using structural analysis in an archaeological context; 2. To review different methodologies of archaeological virtual modelling; 3. To investigate how structural analysis can influence the way archaeological graphical simulations are produced; 4. To evaluate the impact of different surveying methods on the potential and practice of structural analysis. Using Winchester cathedral and its precinct as a case study allows the examination of these aims in the context of: 1. a broad range of different architectural styles; 2. contrasting surveying and prospection methods; 3. varying information including archival data relating to demolished buildings; 4. differing interpretations of the surviving remains. A number of research questions are provided in relation to each of the buildings examined that fit within the overall research aims. Structural analysis is widely used to determine static, dynamic, and thermal behaviour of physical systems and their components. Several methods can be employed to analyse building and nonbuilding structures. The main purpose of structural analysis is to ensure the adequacy of the design from the viewpoint of safety and serviceability of the structure and to check the strength of existing systems. Although the method plays an important role within many different disciplines, it is rarely applied within archaeology. Therefore, the research presented here is based on the application of structural analysis within archaeology, specifically through archaeological interpretation and (archaeological) modelling of historic buildings and novel integration of voxel and surface techniques. Archaeological modelling is used to reconstruct various interpretations of standing and ruined remains, but many of the models produced may have little or no structural basis and are limited to visual representations of hypotheses. The literature associated with structural analysis is considerable but is focused upon engineering principles, with very few investigations into its use within archaeology. The research bridges this gap between (the two) disciplines, tying in the emphasis of archaeological methods to record historic buildings, both standing and ruined, with structural investigations used within engineering. The thesis includes an up-to-date evaluation of the various tools used within recording, creating an overall analysis of laser scanning, photogrammetry, building surveying, and geophysics within the study of buildings. The overall aim of the research is to develop a tool within the study of computational archaeology that will aid our understanding of how and why historic buildings were built and why some lie in ruins. Archival data (provided by the Cathedral authorities) has been used as a basis to reconstruct the known structures and compare the structural properties to those that are standing. The standing buildings were recorded through terrestrial scanning and building surveying techniques. The models are examined through Finite Element Modelling with collapsed architecture. The work is supported by Winchester Cathedral who has given access to all archival data and buildings. The research has highlighted important issues within computational archaeology and through the basis of failure mechanism inherent within structural modelling; the analysis of archaeological models can be assessed to determine actual form. This provide answers that have until now been unknown. The research has involved a considerable amount of fieldwork to record the necessary data and has comprised mostly the computational analysis needed to attain the structural properties of the standing buildings. These results are used as a basis to analyse the reconstructed models. Overall, the reliability of the precision of reconstructed models can be controversial due to absence of historical information and fabric loss; structural analysis from an archaeological perspective can be seen as an effective alternative tool to traditional reconstruction techniques. The study will lay the foundation for future work that can then be used within a wider aspect of archaeological interpretation that is not limited to buildings.
Supervisor: Earl, Graeme ; Hinton, David Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available