Archaeology Seminar: Mapping Medieval and Early Modern Spaces

The mapping of medieval and early modern landscapes can be informed by archaeology, surveys of standing features, written sources, and historic maps. Each resource can make unique contributions but, of course, is subject to a range of limitations. This paper draws on two completed research projects ‘Mapping the Medieval Urban Landscape: Edward I’s new towns of England and Wales’ (AHRC funded research) and ‘Mapping the realm: English cartographic construction of fourteenth-century Britain’ (British Academy funded), as well as a project which is in its early stages, ‘Mapping Lineages’. The findings from these projects are used to consider how very different resources can be utilised in combination to map, and develop understanding of, medieval and early modern landscapes at different spatial scales. A particular focus is on recent research which seeks to assess connections between ‘national’ historic maps in terms of the features mapped and the cartographic veracity of the maps. Specifically, two early maps of Britain — the Gough map (c. 1360) and the Angliae Figura (c. 1537) — are analysed quantitatively and the relative positional accuracy of the two maps compared.