Landscape archaeology - Voices and Definitions

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“It is common knowledge that landscape archaeology requires active collaboration among a broad range of disciplines. The task of understanding landscapes as holistic entities necessitates expertise from both the humanities and the sciences.” (Knitter u. a. 2015, S. i)

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„Archaeology, as an integral part of anthropology and armed with its great time depth, has the potential to unify this truly interdisciplinary approach into a coherent whole. In doing so, a landscape paradigm might allow archaeology to contribute substantively to an understanding of the anthropology of place by demonstrating the limits of strict cultural materialism in explaining how people creatively fashion their environments.” (Anschuetz u.a. 2001, 192)

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“(…) humans and environments interact, and they do so in a dynamic and reciprocal fashion. Everything people do affects the environment, whilst everything the environment "does" affects people, and this is a continuous process of co-adaptation, or mutual change and adjustment.” (Salisbury and Bácsmegi, 2013, p. 145)

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One methodological, or strategic issue that we all have to engage with is that of scale: i.e. the spatial and temporal scales at which our data operate. A frank assessment of these scales is fundamental if our aim is to integrate different palaeoenvironmental data with archaeological evidence (Walsh et al. 2016)

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"Landscape archaeology is the science of material traces of past peoples within the context of their interactions with the wider natural and social environment they inhabited (Kluiving/Guttmann 2012, 15)."

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“Landscape archaeology is an archaeology of how people visualized the world and how they engaged with one another across space, how they chose to manipulate their surroundings or how they were subliminally affected to do things by way of their locational circumstances. It concerns the intentional and the unintentional, the physical and the spiritual, human agency and the subliminal.” (David/Thomas 2008, 38)

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“Nowadays the word ´landscape´ is in. It obviously sounds sexy to archaeologists in 2010. Starting some years ago, there were a growing number of archaeological publications proudly bearing ´landscape´ in their titles. Simultaneously the word ´environment´ is losing its prominent position on the front page of archaeological books and papers. Does this reflect a new type of research, a new topic in archaeology – or it is just one of the fashionable sound bites of the new millennium? In my eyes there are some indications of this last suggestion; the word ´landscape´ today at least partly acting as an envelope for anything.” (Meier 2012, 504)

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Welcome to the project e-Learning in Landscape Archaeology