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Modern ruins

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Title: Modern ruins  
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Subject: Modern ruins, Urban decay, Urban exploration, Gentrification
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Modern ruins

St. Peter's Seminary, an important work of 1960s Brutalist architecture, has been abandoned since the early 1980s and is in a ruinous state

Modern ruins is a neologism referring to ruins of architecture constructed in the recent past, generally in the most recent century, or since the 19th century.

The term is most frequently used by people performing urban exploration of man-made architecture that is abandoned or no longer accessible to the general public, such as structures abandoned through the process of urban decay. Enough documentation on these sites may have been lost over time that this unscientific exploration resembles archaeology of ancient ruins in the methods used to collect information.

Modern ruins and archeology

The archaeological study of modern ruins is most commonly associated with contemporary, urban, and industrial archeology. The processes and goals involved in the archaeological study of modern ruins is very similar to that of other branches of archaeology that primarily focus on studying sites of earlier time periods. Particular field methods used include meticulous surveying, excavation, and record keeping, all of which are generally similar to archeology concerning older, buried sites. However, it has been argued that the archaeological approach to modern ruins should be more embodied and visually well rounded, rather than simply communicating information by conventional site descriptions and reports.[1] Photography, for example, is often used as a medium to communicate discoveries made in modern ruins as well as in contemporary archeological sites in general since most of the artifacts are found above ground level.[1]

Modern ruins are often considered to be representative of accelerated rate of change, not only of their material and structural makeup or past purpose but also in many cases of society as a whole.[1] For example, [2]

Understanding why a particular structure was abandoned or has become no longer accessible to the general public is key to interpreting the archaeological material that is exhibited in modern ruins. Archeologists who study modern ruins focus on understanding several key questions. For example, archeologists try to answer how materials found at the site got where they were ultimately discovered. Was the material that was found originally part of the same assemblage and context, or did later occupants add to what was found?[3]


  1. ^ a b c Schofield, John (201). After Modernity: Archaeological Approaches to the Contemporary Past. New York: Oxford University Press Inc. pp. 67–70.  .
  2. ^ Olsen, Bjørnar (2010). Persistent Memories: An Archaeology of a Soviet Mining Town in the High Arctic. Trondheim: Tapir Academic Press. .
  3. ^ de Brestian, Scott. "Modern Ruins". Retrieved 10 April 2012. .

See also

External links

  • Ruin Memories is a collaboration of international archaeologists researching modern ruins
  • Modern Day Ruins has a collection of images and information related to this topic.
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