3
views
0
recommends
+1 Recommend
2 collections
    0
    shares
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      Making space for an archaeology of place

      Internet Archaeology

      Council for British Archaeology

      Read this article at

      ScienceOpenPublisher
      Bookmark
          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

          Abstract

          Rather than attempt to write a balanced or complete overview of the application of GIS to archaeology (which would inevitably end up being didactic and uncritical) this article sets out to present a discursive and contentious position with the deliberate aim of stimulating further debate about the future role of GIS within the discipline. To this end, existing applications of GIS to archaeology are reviewed, concentrating on two areas of application, predictive modelling and visibility analyses, and on their wider disciplinary context. It is argued that GIS cannot be simplistically held to have been a 'good thing' or a 'bad thing' for archaeology, but rather that these different application areas may be analysed separately and found to have quite different qualities. Although they are in no sense alternatives to one another, the areas of predictive modelling and visibility analysis can be seen to represent quite different agendas for the development of an archaeology of space and/or place. The development of correlative predictive models is considered first, both from the perspective of explanation and of cultural resource management. The arguments against predictive modelling as a means of explanation are rehearsed and it is found to be over-generalising, deterministic and de-humanised. As a consequence, it is argued that predictive modelling is now essentially detached from contemporary theoretical archaeological concerns. Moreover, it is argued to be an area with significant unresolved methodological problems and, far more seriously, that it presents very real dangers for the future representativity of archaeological records. Second, the development of GIS-based visibility analysis is reviewed. This is also found to be methodologically problematic and incomplete. However, it is argued that visibility studies — in direct contrast to predictive modelling — have remained firmly situated within contemporary theoretical debates, notably about how human actors experience places (phenomenology) and perceive their surroundings (cognition). As such, it is argued that visibility analysis has the potential to continue to contribute positively to the wider development of archaeological thinking, notably through laying the foundations of a human-centred archaeology of space. The paper concludes by qualifying the claim that there is a 'hidden agenda' for archaeological applications of GIS, particularly by making it clear that this does not imply an attempt to distort the discipline. Instead, this is explained in terms of institutional and disciplinary inertia that should be addressed through greater debate and communication over these issues.

          Related collections

          Most cited references 11

          • Record: found
          • Abstract: found
          • Article: not found

          Exploring the topography of mind: GIS, social space and archaeology

          The later-prehistoric linear ditches that divide the chalk landscape of Wessex, south England, are markers in an area. It is a topographic space. The ditches seem to be placed with a view to their visibility in the landscape. It is a human topographic space. A GIS study of the ditches' place, in terms of what a human sees in moving acros undulating ground, goes beyond that environmental determinism which underlies many GIS studies.
            Bookmark
            • Record: found
            • Abstract: not found
            • Article: not found

            Outline of a Theory of Practise.

              Bookmark
              • Record: found
              • Abstract: found
              • Article: not found

              Prehistoric Economy in the Mount Carmel Area of Palestine: Site Catchment Analysis.

              This study is concerned with the exploitation of resources by human groups in the Carmel area over a period of about 50,000 years. To this end an attempt is made to evaluate the changing economic potential of the ‘catchments’ of individual sites, for this enables us to make a comparative analysis of hunting-gathering and agricultural economies.
                Bookmark

                Author and article information

                Journal
                Internet Archaeology
                IA
                Council for British Archaeology
                13635387
                2004
                2004
                :
                : 15
                Affiliations
                [1 ]University of Southampton
                Article
                10.11141/ia.15.10
                © 2004

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

                Product
                Self URI (journal page): http://intarch.ac.uk/

                Pre-history, Early modern history, Archaeology, Anthropology, Ancient history, History

                Comments

                Comment on this article