The Factor of Time in the Analysis and Interpretation of Cultural Landscapes
AuthorErickson, Helen Breslich
Committee ChairJohnson, Lauri MacMillan
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractCultural landscapes - artifacts that display the combined work of man and nature - exist in time. Therefore their evaluation, analysis and interpretation must take place within the context of conscious or unconscious understandings of time/space relationships. Landscape architecture professionals are often wary of the preservation of historic landscapes, sensing that a living landscape cannot be frozen in time. Heritage conservationists, working within structures initially designed to serve the built environment, sometimes question the validity of a dynamic landscape as a heritage resource. Divergent developmental histories led these two disciplines to internalize distinctive understandings of the meaning of time, giving rise in the process to conflicting yet potentially complementary conservation metrics. A discussion of these separate histories and resulting concepts of time will provide a starting point for an interdisciplinary discussion about a shared resource viewed through two contrasting temporal lenses. Case studies, examined in the context of frameworks devised by the National Park Service (NPS) for the analysis of cultural resources, suggest ways to expand the existing methodology to take conscious advantage of both of these views of time. The insights of landscape architecture offer a richer, more comprehensive view of an important heritage resource, while existing NPS structures offer a recognized means of validation and support for the conservation of cultural landscapes.