On the 9th of February HH&A heard a talk from Andrew Watson, PhD Candidate at the University of Glasgow, on phenomenology and its application in archaeology.
Andrew began by focusing on the history of phenomenology, which is a branch of Western philosophy that is concerned with how people perceive a phenomenon, and looked at the works of Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger and Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Andrew summarised the approaches that archaeologists had undertaken to date and discussed three key studies incorporating landscape studies, a study of sound and the transferring of hand signals in a Neolithic ditched enclosure in Italy and closer to home, some archaeoacustic studies looking at the effect of sound in Neolithic long barrows. Finally Andrew outlined his Doctoral studies and his approach to phenomenology. Using four Neolithic long barrows as case studies Andrew hopes to better understand people’s bodily and sensorial engagements with Neolithic long barrows in the modern day.
The March talk was given by Brian Carpenter from the Devon Heritage Centre on the documents and information on the Hemyock area stored at the centre. Brian brought to the meeting a list of the registers showing the documents stored in safe custody related to various properties in the Hemyock area plus documents related to the Culmstock Rural District Council which included the parishes of Clayhidon, Hemyock and Culmstock. Brian also listed the various books displayed on the public shelves listing the historical information stored within the centre, including the Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths with:
Christenings from 1635-1959
Marriages from 1635-2007
Burials from 1635-1923
His talk was a very good way of understanding how to trace documents and other material stored within the centre and how various research projects can progress efficiently by visiting the centre and accessing the material that is available. Brian also left with us the route in words of the Bounds of the Parish of Hemyock from 1754. An interesting project would be to reintroduce the practice of Walking the Parish Bounds on Rogation Sunday. We are hoping to form a team interested in progressing a number of research projects.