Monday, July 23, 2007

Landscape Archaeology

Landscape archaeology refers to a method of studying past people and their material culture in the context of the wider environment. The landscape may be large, such as a wide marshy river delta or small, like a back garden. It is often employed in cultural resources management to recognize exposed sites. Landscape archeology addresses the difficult issues of the behavior that people intentionally and deliberately shaped the land around them.

The inquiry of what exactly constitutes a site has been discussed at length by generations of archaeologists.. Areas of examination are not restricted to the boundaries of an excavation but can instead stretch for many miles. Excavation is typically impractical on such a scale and landscape archaeologists hub on the visible features that can be recognized and recorded on the ground surface to create a picture of human activity across a region.

Archaeological features covered just below the surface often leave tell-tale 'lumps and bumps', plough action in fields can lift archaeological material to the surface, in areas of restricted human activity, worked flint scatters can survive untouched for many centuries and standing buildings and field boundaries can be of great antiquity yet archaeologically unexamined.

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