Archaeology Reading Group 2010

Forum Romanum
Forum Romanum
(Photograph: Andrew Stephenson)

Object-Image-Interpretation

Sessions for  2010

28 January

Reading:

Ben Watson 2008: 'Oodles of doodles? Doodling behaviour and its implications for understanding palaeoarts'. Rock Art Research 25, 35-60.

25 February

Chair: Andrew Stephenson

Sensory Archaeology: How Far Can It   Go?

The forthcoming Sensory Archaeology conference   raises the question of how far we can reasonably expect to be able to take such new approaches to archaeology, in particular landscape archaeology. While the   interest is there to explore new dimensions, do we need to clearly separate   speculation from more 'traditional' evidence?  Andrew Fleming's article is   cautionary; the Sensory Archaeology conference site gives an overview of where   the subject is and how it might proceed; Erin Gibson's paper is a recent piece   by a post-processual landscape archaeologist which hopefully will prove   interesting to discuss.

Readings:

Making Sense Of The Past: Toward A Sensory Archaeology - 27th Annual   Visiting Scholar Conference, Center for Archaeological Investigations, Southern   Illinois University Carbondale, USA.  Details at http://www.cai.siuc.edu/vspages/day/vsconf.html and, in particular, information about sensory archaeology at http://www.cai.siuc.edu/vspages/day/read%20more.html.

Erin   Gibson, 'The Archaeology of Movement in a Mediterranean Landscape', Journal   of Mediterranean Archaeology 20.1 (2007), 61-87.

Andrew Fleming, 'Post-processual Landscape   Archaeology: A Critique', Cambridge Archaeological Journal 16 (2006),   267-80.

25 March

Chair: Heather Jackson

Reading:

Graeme Clarke and Heather Jackson (in press): 'Evaluating Cultural and Ethnic Identities Fom Archaeological Remains: The Case of Hellenistic Jebel Khalid'.

29 April

Chair: Michelle Negus Cleary

Reading:

Michelle Negus Cleary (unpublished): 'Chorasmian Fortified Enclosures: Urban Centres, Elite Enclaves or Nomad Capitals?'

This paper attempts to tease out some long-held assumptions about Central Asian   Iron Age oases being solely settled, agricultural zones and explore the   archaeological evidence underpinning them. It is a draft for a contribution to a   forthcoming book on pastoralism edited by P. Nick Kardulias.

27 May

Chair: Will Anderson

Readings:

C.  Platt,  2007: ‘Revisionism in Castle Studies: A Caution’, Medieval   Archaeology 51, 83-102.

O. Creighton and R. Liddiard, 2008: ‘Fighting   Yesterday's Battle: Beyond War or Status in Castle Studies’, Medieval   Archaeology 52, 161-9.

Medieval Archaeology is available online through the Library catalogue.

30 September

Chair: Caroline Tully

Pseudo-archaeology

Reading:

C. Holtorf, 'Beyond Crusades: How (Not) to Engage with Alternative Archaeologies', World Archaeology 37.4 2005, 544-51.

R. J. Wallis and J. Blain, 'Sites, Sacredness and Stories: Interactions of Archaeology and Contemporary Paganism', Folklore 114.3 (2003), 307-21.

28 October

Engagement with the Material Past

Reading:

Robert Witcher, Divya P. Tolia-Kelly and Richard Hingley 2010: 'Archaeologies of Landscape: Excavating the Materialities of Hadrian's Wall', Journal of Material Culture 15, 105-28.

Raymond Howell 2000: 'The Demolition of the Roman Tetrapylon in Caerleon: An   Erasure of Memory?' Oxford Journal of Archaeology 19, 387-95.

2 December

Google Earth and Archaeology

Google Earth has proved to be a revelation for archaeology by providing an   alternative view on past landscapes easily and freely accessible. But its very   existence and its aim of 'democratisation' of global imagery has fuelled debates   about sovereignty, privacy, ownership and censorship. In 2009, a symposium held   at the annual Society for American Archaeology meeting on Recent Research on   Mesoptamian Urbanism: Origins, Structure, Economy, was   enlightening yet somehow disturbing in its almost complete reliance on Google   Earth and other satellite imagery for new 'field data', due to the fact that   none of the archaeologists present had been able to enter Iraq to collect new   data for almost a decade. This easily accessible data is, however, problematic   and Myers discusses the use of this panopticon type gaze and the issues of a   militaristic, cartesian view of sites and landscapes. The article by Myers also raises issues about the application of archaeological approaches to the recent   past, and its engagement with modern politics. The use of Google Earth for   surveillance and access to sites 'closed' on the ground by modern government   policies and military interventions are very pertinent to the reasons behind the   Thomas et al. article. Thomas's article showed that despite being prevented by   the UN and its operations against the Taliban from conducting fieldwork on the ground, archaeology is still possible in Afghanistan.

Reading:

David C. Thomas, Fiona J. Kidd, Suzanna Nikolovski and Claudia Zipfel. 2008: 'The Archaeological Sites of Afghanistan in Google Earth', Aerial Archaeology Research Group Newsletter 37 (September), 22-30.

Adrian Myers, 2010: 'Camp Delta, Google Earth and the ethics of remote sensing in archaeology', World Archaeology 42 (3), 455-67.