Negotiating landscapes of rights

Project summary

This interdisciplinary project examines the negotiation of rights around common resources by involving archaeologists, lawyers, historians, geographers in a series of case studies taken from around the world. By drawing on a variety of stakeholders including local communities and administrative authorities such as National Parks and County Councils (or their equivalents), it compares present and past and between regions under four key headings:

Landscapes of memory

Stratified memories of place-names, places and actions through which local people built their communities and appropriated their space, as documented in historical testimonies related to conflicts over access rights.

Landscapes of practice

Built up through long-term agro-forestry-pastoral practices whose reconstruction is possible using the methodologies of archaeology and environmental archaeology; urban commons through the heterogenous practices of appropriation and revitalisation of marginal spaces.

Landscapes of rights

Stratified acts of possession through which social relationshipsare materialised as the result of negotiation between individuals, local communities, seigneurial, colonial, imperial or state powers.

Landscapes as heritage

Common land is often rightly recognised as having natural and cultural value, sometimes without much consideration of its historical dimension. The project investigators want to explore this dimension in particular and involve local communities in this research.

Term: Epiphany 2021


Project fellows

Principal Investigator: Professor Chris Gerrard (Archaeology)
Principal Investigator: Dr Henry Jones (Durham Law School)