Heritage: May 2003 Archives

May 17, 2003

GIS a clue

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have been use to shed new light on the Salem Witch Trials, and provice further evidence to back up a theory by Paul Boyer and Steve Nissenbaum that socio-economic factors were significant:

Using the geographic software, Ray recreated a historical map of the area that showed the poorer families living in the western part of the village and more affluent families in the east.
Ray concluded that more accusers came from the wealthier households of community leaders and the majority of the accused belonged to the middle or lower classes.
He and his class also researched court documents, genealogies and marriage and property records of accusers and the accused. The research showed that many of the accusers and accused were involved in family feuds and property disputes before the trials.

GIS technology helping with history's mysteries - San Bernadino County Sun, 16th May 2003. If the article sparks your interest in GIS, GRASS is an open source GIS released under the GPL, which runs on UNIX, Linux and similar systems, including MacOS X, and a project is underway to port it to Windows. The site also contains a lot more in-depth information about GIS and what's it's used for.

May 5, 2003

Uffington 'sacrelige'

Archæologists and conservationists are angry with the National Trust, which has allowed the producers of Big Brother to place a vast version of its logo next to the Uffington White Horse.

David Miles, chief archaeologist with English Heritage - the Government's advisers on the country's cultural legacy - said the Big Brother image was an indictment of modern society.
This simply confirms that we live in a commercial age, he added. Yet somehow I think the White Horse will be around long after Big Brother is forgotten.

Local residents are not happy either:

Residents of the nearby village of Uffington - whose ancestors have cared for the White Horse for centuries by removing weeds that intruded on the chalk outline - warned the incident could trigger a local uprising. Sharon Smith, curator of the Tom Brown's School Museum, which celebrates local author Thomas Hughes and the cultural history of the region, said: This just smacks of sacrilege. You shouldn't use a national monument to promote a tacky game show.

Big Brother's logo 'defiles' White Horse - The Observer, 4th May 2003. See also Big Brother defends 300ft chalk logo - BBC News, 4th May 2003, which includes a picture.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Heritage category from May 2003.

Heritage: April 2003 is the previous archive.

Heritage: June 2003 is the next archive.

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