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Construire au Moyen-Age en région Centre : économie de la pierre et techniques de construction en région Centre du XIIe au XVIe siècle : l'apport des chantiers d'archéologie préventive

Abstract : This thesis may be considered from two angles: that of a retrospective look at the professional framework and the practices of buildings archaeology within the sphere of architectural heritage management and that of an appraisal of the archaeological data gathered during field work in this particular context. Before being considered as “heritage”, standing buildings of any form are archaeological remains. The first part of this work examines the legal and institutional framework which conditions just how and when archaeologists may get to study and record these remains in a context where the legislation concerning the protection and management of the architectural heritage is juxtaposed rather than integrated with that governing archaeological research. Within this framework, archaeological field work usually has to satisfy the needs of the institutions responsible for the management and restoration of architectural heritage. In so doing, it also produces considerable amounts of “secondary” data which are rarely published or even used, despite their potential interest for archaeological research on the history of building. The second part of this thesis consists of a critique of the archaeological methods used during the field work and its’ effects on the quality and the quantity of the data produced. It was thus possible to make a thematic assessment of the state of archaeological research in the Centre region over the last two decades and to draw up a corpus of sites which form the basis for the third part of the thesis. This corpus consists of forty-one buildings of various types which have been directly studied by the author during archaeological field work. They cover the period from the middle of the 11th century to the start of the 17th century. Another thirty-nine buildings situated in the Berry in the southern part of the region were also selected as comparative sites. This rather heterogeneous sample offered the advantage of not being bound by the usual typological categories. By comparing very different types of construction, it is possible to observe the relations between the possibilities offered by the geological environment and the limits imposed by each architectural program. Although a close link may be established between the geological context and the buildings, the variety of solutions applied to produce the different types of constructions, the former was never an obstacle to the builder. Analysis of the archaeological data allows us to evaluate the levels of competence and ability of the builders throughout the given time frame. Above all, we may retrace the construction processes from the transformation and preparation of the raw materials, notably stone, up until the finished building. It is the possible to assess the surroundings that these constructions offered to their occupants. By recording and analyzing the physical evidence of the building site written into the fabric of each site, archaeology offers a history of construction methods which is often very different from that given by the historical data. Exploiting these otherwise dormant data has shown that buildings archaeology can make a valuable contribution not only to the needs of heritage management but also to scientific research. The thesis is brought to a conclusion by underlining the advantages of professional research based archaeology and by proposing some measures which may improve the integration of archaeology as a distinct discipline within the framework of architectural heritage management and restoration.
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Submitted on : Monday, February 8, 2021 - 4:13:20 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, March 30, 2021 - 4:36:14 PM


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  • HAL Id : tel-03134966, version 2


Simon Bryant. Construire au Moyen-Age en région Centre : économie de la pierre et techniques de construction en région Centre du XIIe au XVIe siècle : l'apport des chantiers d'archéologie préventive. Archéologie et Préhistoire. Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, 2014. Français. ⟨NNT : 2014PA010584⟩. ⟨tel-03134966v2⟩



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