Article

‘A Dirtier Reality?’ Archaeological Methods and the Urban Project

John Schofield

in The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of the Contemporary World

Published in print October 2013 | ISBN: 9780199602001
Published online December 2013 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199602001.013.001

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology

‘A Dirtier Reality?’ Archaeological Methods and the Urban Project

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Strait Street in Malta’s capital Valletta is an extraordinary street, and one that has fascinating stories to tell about its resident population and visitors over nearly 300 years. For Strait Street (part of which was also known as The Gut) was a focal point for visiting navies, from Nelson’s time until the departure of the British Royal Navy in the 1960s and early ’70s. But such was the contradiction between this street’s activities and Catholic society that the street has remained empty post-abandonment. This situation is only now beginning to change. This chapter briefly summarizes a project which set out to record, interpret, and present Strait Street to diverse audiences, focusing here on the field methods used in the investigation. While this is primarily an archaeological study, the methodology also incorporates ethnographic and historic components to construct a complex narrative of coexistence and tolerance in the heart of the Mediterranean.

Keywords: Strait Street; Malta; Valletta; Royal Navy; abandonment; fieldwork; ethnography; archaeology; tolerance

Article.  6026 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Contemporary and Public Archaeology

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