landscape archaeology

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A major branch of study within archaeology that draws on archaeological, historical geography, human geography, ecology, anthropology, and place‐name studies. A number of different approaches have been, and continue to be, used which fall into two main areas. First is the largely descriptive work of mapping and plotting archaeological features over wide areas and then trying to work out their sequence and patterns of contemporaneity. Such work usually produces a series of extremely useful phase plans or snapshot images of the physical arrangement of the landscape at a point in time. Second is the interpretative work that focuses on the social use of space by past communities, together with their comprehension and engagement with the world. The application of phenomenology here has proved illuminating. The greatest significance of all landscape archaeology is the way it has replaced the focus on single tightly defined sites with an interest in much bigger areas that are more closely matched with the physical scale at which human societies operate.

Subjects: Archaeology.

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