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Title: As you see it so it was? Reconstructing historic built environments in the USA : the case of sites associated with George Washington
Authors: White, Esther
Award date: 2008
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: This study explores the nature, function and creation of in situ, three-dimensional, full-scale reconstructions from both a professional archaeological and administrative vantage point. In situ, three-dimensional reconstructions are used at heritage sites throughout the world to interpret historical archaeological remains for visitors. This type of reconstruction is the most permanent and complete of the physical treatments used to interpret buildings that are no longer standing, presenting both great risk to the archaeological resource and the historical authenticity of the place, as well as the potential for enormous reward for both interpretation and education. The thesis analyses criteria with potential to measure the success of failure of reconstructions and provide a broader understanding of how these buildings act as replacements for their vanished originals. Due to the large universe of reconstructions, data from 11 archaeologically-based reconstructions, at five sites associated with George Washington, were identified to guide the discussion. The 11 Washington case studies are analysed within a framework of statements from international restoration policies and national structure guiding and shaping how reconstructions are created and how standing structures are assessed within the United States. This analysis looks at the entire history of the reconstruction, from its creation to the present function, and utilisation of the building, relying on a full understanding of the entire cultural history of the building and historic site to assess the reconstruction. Through this nuanced and detailed exploration, criteria are addressed and 14 emerge that appear to provide both a gauge for assessing completed reconstructions and a valid foundation to guide the decision-making process when heritage site administrators and managers discuss reconstruction as a means of interpretation.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: PhD
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Theses, School of Archaeology and Ancient History
Leicester Theses

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