Clark L. Erickson, PhD

Department of Anthropology

and University Museum

University of Pennsylvania


Traditionally, archaeological research has focused on "sites" as a loci of investigation. Regional investigation tends to stress settlement pattern and settlement system as determined through archaeological site survey. In contrast, a landscape arc haeology perspective stresses the space between the sites or "points" on the landscape. Most previous attempts at "landscape archaeology" tended to focus on the natural environment and its relationship to occupation sites (resource availability, carrying capacity, human adaptation, etc.). A revised landscape perspective highlights the cultural, "anthropogenic," or built environment--in this case human modification and transformation of the natural landscape in the form of pathways, roads, causeways, monum ents, walls, gardens and fields and their boundaries, astronomical and calendrical sightlines, shrines and sacred places, and water management. The concern is to understand how and why human actors consciously and unconsciously modified and created the cu ltural landscape for economic, political, social, and religious purposes. The perspective considers human land use over the long term (hundreds to thousands of years) and at multiple geographic scales (the garden to the macro-region; often "dangerously" l arge survey regions). The approach assumes that landscapes are dynamic and have complex histories. Features can be examined in terms of the "social logic" or patterning of cultural space that can provide insights into indigenous structures such as measure ment systems, land tenure, social organization, cosmology, calendrics, astronomy, sacred geography, cognition, and ritual practices. This perspective assumes that the landscape is dynamic and continually being constructed.


The Site Concept and Critique:


Dunnell, Robert C.

1992 The Notion Site. In Space, Time, and Archaeological Landscapes. edited by Jacqueline Rossignol and LuAnn Wandsnider, Plenum Press, New York, pp. 21-41.


Foley, R.

1981 Off-Site Archaeology: An Alternative Approach for the Short-sited. In Pattern of the Past. edited by Ian Hodder, G. Isaac, and N. Hammond, Cambridge U. Press, Cambridge, pp. 157-183.


Fotiadis, Michael

1992 Units of Data as Deployment of Disciplinary Codes. In Representations in Archaeology. edited by Jean-Claude Gardin and Christopher Peebles, Indiana U. Press, Bloomington, pp. 132-148. [Site Concept]



Archaeology of Landscapes:


Lansing, J. Stephen

1991 Priests and Programmers: Technologies of Power in the Engineered Landscape of Bali. Princeton U. Press, Princeton.


Gleason, Katheryn and Naomi Miller eds.

1994 The Archaeology of Garden and Field. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia.


Tilley, Christopher

1994 A Phenomenology of Landscape: Places, Paths and Monuments. Berg, Oxford.


Yarmin, Rebecca and Karen Bescherer Metheny eds.

1996 Landscape Archaeology: Reading and Interpreting the American Historical Landscape. University of Tennesee Press, Knoxville.


Stone, Glenn Davis

1996 Settlement Ecology: The Social and Spatial Organization of Kofyar Agriculture. University of Arizona, Tucson.


Deetz, James

1990 Landscapes as Cultural Statements. In Earth Patterns: Essays in Landscape Archaeology. edited by William M. Kelso and Rachel Most, University Press of Virginia, Charlottesville, pp. 1-4.


Crumley, Carole and William H. Marquardt

1990 Landscape: A Unifying Concept in Regional Analysis. In Interpreting Space: GIS and Archaeology. edited by Kathleen Allen, Stanton Green and Ezra Zubrow, Taylor and Francis, London, pp. 73-79.


Crumley, Carole L. ed

1994 Historical Ecology: Cultural Knowledge and Changing Landscapes. School of American Research, Santa Fe


Denevan, William M.

1992 The Pristine Myth: The Landscapes of the Americas in 1492. Association of American Geographers 82(3):369-385.


Balee, William

1989 The Culture of Amazonian Forests. Advances in Economic Botany 7:1-21.


Madry, Scott and Carole Crumley

1990 An Application of Remote Sensing and GIS in a Regional Archaeological Settlement Pattern Analysis: The Arroux River Valley, Burgundy, France. In Interpreting Space: GIS and Archaeology. edited by Kathleen Allen, Stanton Green and Ezra Zu brow, Taylor and Francis, London, pp. 364-380.


Stafford, C. Russell

1995 Geoarchaeological Perspectives on Paleolandscapes and Regional Subsurface Archaeology. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory. 2(1):69-104.


Fleming, Andrew

1987 Coaxial Field Systems: Some Questions of Time and Space. Antiquity 61:188-202.


Killion, Thomas W.

1992 Residential Ethnoarchaeology and Ancient Site Structure. In Gardens of Prehistory: The Archaeology of Settlement Agriculture in Greater Mesoamerica. edited by Thomas Killion, University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, pp. 119-149.


Tilley, Christopher

1996 The powers of Rocks: Topography and Monument Construction on Bodmin Moor. World Archaeology 28(2):161-176.


Lawrence, D. S. and S. M. Low

1990 The Built Environment and Spatial Form. Annual Review of Anthropology. 19:453-505.




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