Experiment in landscape: the Norfolk excavations of Marietta Pallis
The paper considers the geographies of scientific knowledge produced around a pool dug at Long Gores, Hickling, Norfolk, England in 1953. Designed by ecologist and artist Marietta Pallis as a swimming pool and symbolic site, the pool also became a scientific experiment in landscape, through which Pallis pursued general ecological principles and specific theories on the landscape history and ecology of the Norfolk Broads. The digging of the pool coincided with the publication of research establishing the broads' artificial origin in medieval peat diggings. The paper begins by developing arguments concerning the cultural geographies of scientific knowledge. We then trace Pallis's presentation of the pool as equivalent for the broads in its origins and development, her discussion of the relationship between pool, marsh and North Sea, the connection between Pallis and local scientific culture, and the pool's place in a landscape of ecological succession. The paper concludes with further theoretical discussion, and reflection on the remains of Pallis and her reputation.