The Nature of Animal Parks 100 BC to AD 1800
Through the course of my doctoral research I aim to examine human society - their beliefs, aspirations and worldview - through the lens of animal parks; landscape features that, I will argue, are barometers of human attitudes to nature and thus humankind itself. Through the re-analysis and original analysis of zooarchaeological data, and the creation of zooarchaeological recording methods, my research will seek to plug the gap in our knowledge of the origins, function, and decline of parks in Britain.
With regards to the origins of parks I will; investigate the previously unstudied topic of parks in Iron Age Britain - discovering or disproving their existence; improve our understanding of Romano-British parks - defining their extent and use; conclude wether or not Anglo-Saxon haga and haia were parks. I aim to clarify the changing function and meaning of parks in the medieval period, considering the wide range of wild animal enclosures such as zoos and menageries; their varying interpretations as game larders (Birrell, 1992) and hunting reserves (Mileson, 2009); and their role in conveying religion and sexuality. I then intend to discover how and why the role and function of parks changed into the post-medieval period. The completion of this research will provide a new insight into societal changes in Britain which occurred during the past 2,000 years which are inextricably linked to parks.
If you would like to learn more about my research, contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org