Study of landscapes in archaeology. Methods for landscape research: historic maps, diaries, aerial photographs, geophysical and satellite imagery, etc. Archaeological landscape surveys: principles and limitations. Review of various theoretical approaches. Examination of key case studies, issues on landscape heritage, and indigenous landscapes. Prerequisite: ARCH 205.
During the 90s the study of landscapes became a central topic in archaeology. Archaeologists became interested in questions like how do landscapes become meaningful or how do people ‘read’ landscapes. Many of these questions and issues are still being debated today or have yet to be solved. In this course you will learn about the different theoretical approaches archaeologists use to study past landscapes. To understand many of these, we will have to examine concepts such as the notion of 'landscape', the idea of an archaeological 'site' or the concept of 'place'. We will also review several archaeological examples in detail, spending some time discussing the basis of those approaches. The course is more about Whats and Whys, ie. theoretical issues, than it is about Hows ie. methodological ones (though we will be seeing these too). It is hoped that in the process of addressing some of these questions you will become more aware of how your own experience of space is constructed.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
This is a 400 level class so you will expected to come prepared to class. The course is mostly organized around readings, critical discussions and some class presentations. On occasion I will lecture to offer background on particular theoretical issues. The quality of your course experience will depend to a large extent on your willingness to read critically and participate actively in class discussions. This course will provide you with the opportunity to improve your skills in articulating significant arguments presented within a particular range of archaeological studies. The course will also provide many opportunities to practice your skills at written exposition, classroom debate, and public presentations.
Class assignments and grading
Most of the assignments will entail some sort of writing (short paragraphs, essays). There will be also be a group project.