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Archeology as a discipline to study the railway architecture: methodological experiments in the framework of a Brazil-China comparative analysis

Grant number: 19/20530-0
Support type:Research Grants - Visiting Researcher Grant - International
Duration: March 15, 2021 - April 17, 2021
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Archeology - Historical Archaeology
Principal researcher:Eduardo Romero de Oliveira
Grantee:Eduardo Romero de Oliveira
Visiting researcher: Juan Manuel Cano Sanchiz
Visiting researcher institution: University of Science and Technology Beijing (USTB), China
Home Institution: Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rosana. Rosana , SP, Brazil


The main goal of this application to the Visiting Researcher Program is to complete the archaeological works scheduled on the fourth working phase of the Railway Memory Project (FAPESP 2018/23340-5). In doing so, this proposal aims to develop a comparative analysis Brazil-China in terms of railway history and heritage. The selection of these countries is justified by the many common features they share. Both are large-scale territories, experienced late industrialisation processes, and belong today to the BRICS group of emerging economies. In despite of these similarities, the Brazilian and Chinese railway systems also show important differences nowadays, especially concerning their passenger services. Our comparative analysis focuses on railway architecture. The research aims to compare the use of building materials, typologies, techniques, and technologies both in Brazil and in China. The analysis is carried out using a number of study samples from the railway section Jundiaí-Campinas, in the state of São Paulo, and from the railway lines Jingguang, Jing-Zhang, Chengkun, Jiaoji and Zhongdong, in China. In the end, the research aims to understand how the globalisation processes related to the railways were adopted, adapted or rejected in Brazil and in China - this is a research problem shared by the Railway Memory project and by our own research at the USTB/ICHHST (China). Methodologically, the proposal is based on the archaeological tools for surveying and recording already defined on former phases of work, as well as on the tools of the archaeology of architecture. Also from a methodological point of view, the proposal interacts with the multi-disciplinary research structure of the Railway Memory project. This new research is grounded in the works developed in the Railway Memory project (both completed and ongoing), and dialogues with the different disciplines involved in it (especially architecture, history, and heritage studies). Furthermore, this application seeks to implement the archaeological tools used in the Railway Memory project for recording, analysing and preserving railway heritage. (AU)

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