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Dav Smith is a buildings archaeologist specialising in the archaeology of restoration and rebuilding.
Dav read Medieval History (2000) at the University of Melbourne, Australia, before travelling extensively through Europe. After settling in the UK, Dav discovered a passion for built heritage while working at Bournemouth University, which prompted a move to the University of York where he completed first the MA Archaeology of Buildings (2009) then a PhD (2014), focused on the Victorian restoration of parish churches in Ryedale, North Yorkshire.
Dav worked at Historic England for 3 years, where he managed grants and statutory planning casework. His research interests include: survey and recording methodologies, church archaeology, conservation philosophy, and heritage legislation and management.
My research centres on the archaeology of restoration and rebuilding, particularly medieval parish churches. Virtually every parish church in England underwent a scheme of restoration during the 19th century, often resulting in the partial or total rebuilding of the earlier structure. Scholars have generally approached such churches with an assumed disjunction between the medieval and Victorian fabric. My PhD explored the potential of an archaeological methodology to both reveal the restoration and rebuilding process, and to elucidate the ‘lost’ earlier church. More broadly, my research covers the recording, analysis and interpretation of historic buildings, in particular the theory and application of measured survey methodologies, from hand survey through to emerging digital recording techniques.