The science of landscape archaeology today melds theoretical underpinnings from ecology, economic geography, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, and social theory from Marxism to feminism. The social theory portion of landscape archaeology points to the ideas of the landscape as a social construct—that is, the same piece of ground holds different meanings to different people, and that idea should be explored.
The dangers and delights of phenomenologically-based landscape archaeology are outlined in an article by MH Johnson in the Annual Review of Anthropology , which should be read by any scholar working in the field. Ashmore W, and Blackmore C. Landscape Archaeology.
In: Pearsall DM, editor-in-chief. Encyclopedia of Archaeology. New York: Academic Press.
Landscape research in Sweden
Fleming A. Post-processual landscape archaeology: A critique. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 16 3 Johnson MH. Phenomenological Approaches in Landscape Archaeology. Annual Review of Anthropology 41 1 Kvamme KL. Here in North America, archaeology is a subdivision of anthropology. In Europe, it is the other way around. The main reason being is that Europe has a far longer historic period. In the Americas, the prehistoric period is considered to have technically finished in the 15 th th centuries with the arrival of European colonists.
The two are remarkably similar in their tools and methods and complement each other in many ways 2 p Academics and practitioners from both disciplines would agree that both have made wonderful contributions to the other and will continue to do so. But they do differ in several key areas. Anthropology is the study of people of the past, their culture and practices, the locations of habitation, how they survived or thrived in the landscape, what they ate, what they believed where possible and their practices.
With this, anthropologists attempt to build a narrative of human culture in the past. Archaeology is the study of the material remains of the human past - artifacts tools, jewelry 1 , technology, buildings and structures graves and grave markers including the grave goods , how humanity altered a landscape or other natural feature.
Archaeology studies the people in the past as indicators of the things that anthropologists study and more. The similarities go beyond the material though. Some archaeologists study modern technologically primitive peoples to understand the beliefs and practices of the past by studying their materials and technology 3.
More details are below. The keeping of artifacts as cultural or historical curiosities is an early one, but was not considered politically important or as a sense of national pride which we would now consider the later antiquary's motivations. Humans have always placed value on objects to which we ascribe either meaning or its own family historical importance 1. Even in medieval societies, interested people collected images of ancient stone texts, sketches of curious monuments and other artifacts that we would today consider of archaeological interest.
Later antiquarianism of the 17 th th century has its foundation in the birth of the nation-state, and to some, also gave birth to local historians as well as archaeology 5, p This was a period of fundamental change for the European powers with several either reforming or abandoning monarchy and most forming empires that would last several centuries.
In each case, changes were made fueled by the idea of national cultural identity or cultural destiny. The sense of shared culture through the church and Christian faith gave way to the idea of a sense of the uniqueness of one's own country today we may call this exceptionalism. Arguably, this period is also the birth of genealogy and a sense of cherishing previous generations.
Indeed, the famous English antiquarians at the time such as William Camden, Elias Ashmole and William Dugdale had important roles for the crown in preserving the idea of the importance of descendants through royal lineage. Archaeology began as a natural and necessary progress from the enlightenment 5, p14 , but it was still largely influenced by a sense of national identity and local pride, as already discussed. Naturally, we can expect this to continue its meteoric growth in Europe at a time when empires were forming and expanding.
It should come as no surprise that some of the best-known museums opened around the same time.
The British Museum opened its doors in ; The Egyptian Museum of Antiquities opened in Cairo in with the current building in to house all later finds. However, this largely political ideology of the historical curiosities of the European powers that formed early archaeology was not the only motivation of the shift from local or national exceptionalism in antiquities to one of scientific investigation. The publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species in caused a global stir but it lit a fuse that would have profound effects on many sciences 6.
Charles Darwin was not the first to suggest the scientific theory of evolution, but with his work, it did go mainstream. By the time of the publication of Darwin's book, archaeology was already looking at the evolution of culture and technology. Sir John Lubbock divided these stages further, for example dividing the Stone Age period into Paleolithic old stone age , Mesolithic middle stone age and Neolithic new stone age. These cultural designations were useful only to cultures from Europe to the Middle East and into western Asia, with little use in Africa, the Americas, the Far East or Australasia.
Nevertheless, today they still forge the imagination of the past and both archaeology and anthropology attempt to forge human cultural chronology around these three major concepts. On the Origin of Species enabled many scientific disciplines to examine the beliefs at their core and search for evidence; archaeology was no different. With it, the old systems of assumptions of human antiquity were challenged. Archaeology was already in the middle of its own revolution when Darwin published On the Origin of Species.
Stratigraphic theory was already in development and based partly on the older idea of the three-age system. William Cunnington 8 excavated Stonehenge in the early s along with many other prehistoric monuments. He largely categorized into those belonging to the Stone Age, Bronze Age or Iron Age using a meticulous system of stratigraphy that still informs archaeology today. Later, a more complex system and one adapted based on regional variation was applied. He used a method that by the standards of the s would be considered meticulous in its methods and recording.
He dug on his land in England, finding many artifacts which he arranged topologically by a presumed evolution of methods and complexity. This was arguably the first time archaeology would examine artifact typology as a method for determining a relative evolution of the morphology of artifacts. It still informs the artifact record data and is used to date new artifacts.
In each case he meticulous recorded each artifact no matter how seemingly insignificant, its location and relationship with other finds and the landscape. This was a golden age for early archaeology with the discovery of Troy in modern Turkey and the investigation of Knossos in Crete. By the turn of the century, archaeology became an academic discipline, no longer the hobby of Europe's elite.
- Evolutionaries: Unlocking the Spiritual and Cultural Potential of Sciences Greatest Idea!
- Wheelocks Latin Reader, 2e: Selections from Latin Literature;
When Sir Mortimer Wheeler arrived on the scene in the early 20 th century, archaeology would undergo more change. He introduced a scientific excavation method still in use today.
Wheeler and Kenyon finally removed the shackles of the perception of archaeology being a hunt for treasure and curiosities. By it was a professional academic discipline requiring high-level education and long-term study. Schools all over the developed world began teaching it. Colleges and universities offered degrees and post-graduate courses before the s. By the 21 st century, practically all archaeologists including manual labor excavators had archaeology degrees. There are now effectively two sides to archaeology: archaeology in theory, and archaeology in practice.
As already discussed, archaeology is not simply about digging up past human remains and preserving it for people to enjoy, wonder at and feel a sense of shared identity. Academic archaeology is about interpreting the meaning of these finds, what their users thought about the objects and monuments, how they might have been used, by whom and when. This is especially important for artefacts whose meanings have been lost or where there are no written records to explain their contact.
The earliest theoretical stance that antiquarians and archaeologists held was one of supernatural young earth creationism. All findings were expected to fit into this framework. In the middle of the 17 th century, the Archbishop of Armagh James Ussher examined biblical texts extensively and deduced that the Earth was created in BC This biblical dating fueled ideas about the past.
There had been theological debate about the age of the Earth until that point, but Ussher finally pinned a date on it that religious thinkers accepted.
Most importantly for the study of humanity's past, it was believed that the social structures, hierarchies and human nature were near-identical 18, p The well-to-do of Europe's past were essentially treasure hunters, typically looking to prove a right to rule and look for signs of the antiquity of existing class divisions. Biblical historians toured the Holy Land looking for monuments and artefacts to prove the events in the Bible, particularly in the narrative-rich Old Testament. But what of the mysterious artefacts for which they had no explanation?
Extinct creatures such as mammoth, giant birds, and even dinosaurs found on the great plains of North America and Europe were worked into a biblical chronology. They were considered giants and dragons spoken of in the Old Testament books 18, p Artefacts we now know as the stone tools of ancient cultures were considered natural phenomena, probably the by-product of storms 18, p Plenum Press.
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In Archaeologies of Landscape. Ashmore, Wendy and A. Bernard Knapp, eds. Malden:Blackwell Publishers Inc: pp. Theresa A.
Singleton, ed. Klippel, and Rose Duffield American Antiquity 40 2 :pp. Ladefoged Journal of Archaeological Research pp. Beaudry Historical Archaeology 24 1 :pp. Harmon, Jessica L. In Historical Archaeology, Vol. In Landscape Archaeology. Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press. The Archaeology of Class in Urban America. Cambridge:Cambridge University Press.
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