Sunday, 6 September 2009

Landscapes as Standpoints

[Envisioning Landscape: Situations and Standpoints in Archaeology and Heritage, my co-edited volume from 2007, has recently been published in paperback by Left Coast Press. This is the introductory chapter, co-authored with Laura McAtackney. You can read the whole book on my page here

Introduction: Landscapes as Standpoints (Dan Hicks and Laura McAtackney)
Archaeologists ‘listen to landscapes’ inspired by the ‘late medieval soundscape of church bells’ in Polhograjsko hribovje, Slovenia. ‘Sacred landscapes and social memory’ are studied through inscriptions at Oaxaca, Mexico. New 360-degree panoramic photographs of Native American pictographs in the American West allow ‘the viewer to see the pictographs up close as well as the entire landscape which surrounds them’. A meeting in South Carolina considers ‘vernacular settlements, early industrial places, sacred Indigenous sites, places of memory, sites of conscience and of the recent past, plus once invisible or miniscule sites whose thematic values are reinforced by being linked together in cultural landscapes, heritage areas and cultural corridors’. In China, archaeologists gather to explore how heritage routes can represent ‘meta-landscapes’, while others meet in Nevis in the eastern Caribbean to debate ‘the historical archaeology of colonial or shared landscapes of the Caribbean’. Another symposium explores how ‘humans have always interacted with their environment and helped to create and modify the landscapes in which they live’. A Japanese contribution reflects upon how, for former prisoners of war revisiting the Burma-Thailand Railway, it is a landscape filled with ‘lived memories’.

This sample of postings to the World Archaeological Congress (WAC) email listserver between July 2004 and July 2005 demonstrates some of the many, contrasting uses of ideas of ‘landscape’ in contemporary world archaeology. Highly diverse theoretical and methodological approaches to landscape have developed in archaeology over the past 40 years, from the archaeology of ‘settlement patterns’ and the ‘spatial archaeology’ of David Clarke to post-processual ideas of space as ‘socially constructed and constitutive of social relations’ rather than ‘a passive backdrop for action’, more empirical approaches that developed from British traditions of ‘local studies’, and even archaeologies of ‘natural places’. Still more diverse are the situations in which ideas of landscape have been developed and used by archaeologists. In the Middle East, some archaeologists have been attracted to landscape studies, drawing upon geophysical survey and aerial photography, because of a desire to combine targeted excavation with ‘larger operations on a scale commensurate with massive urban sites’. In studies of the British Neolithic others have used phenomenology to seek to grasp the experiential dimensions of monuments in the landscape – the ‘multisensory experience of being out in the open’. Denis Byrne has explored the ‘nervous landscapes’ of racial segregation in New South Wales. Alice Gorman has tested the physical limits of landscape still further by exploring how the ‘spacescape’ of human exploration of space since the late 1950s ranges from terrestrial space sites such as the Woomera rocket range in South Australia to space junk in Earth orbit and planetary landing sites. At the same time, landscape archaeologists have tested disciplinary boundaries, especially with geography and anthropology. ‘Landscapes’, as Barbara Bender has put it, ‘refuse to be disciplined’.

Perhaps the archaeological notion of landscape is so broad that it is ‘vacuous’. And perhaps we should find this diversity and ambivalence in definitions of landscape troubling. Kurt Anschuetz, Richard Wilshusen and Cherie Scheick, for instance, have called for ‘a landscape paradigm’ that would define a single, coherent ‘landscape approach’ with ‘a common terminology and methodology’. There are, of course, already many commonalities between alternative landscape archaeologies: they employ a range of (mainly non-intrusive) methods, operate at multiple scales of analysis and seek to move beyond a focus upon apparently bounded entities like monuments or ‘sites’. But our point of departure in bringing together this collection of essays is that diversity – of method, field location, disciplinary influences and contemporary voices – is a principal characteristic of landscape archaeology. The ambivalence of archaeologists’ ideas of landscape can, perhaps, be ‘useful’. In this introduction, discussing three overlapping themes that emerge from the papers collected in this volume – Heritage, Temporality and Situations – we suggest that archaeologists’ own conceptions of ‘landscape’ might represent a significant tool in the important task of building upon the acknowledgement of diversity in contemporary world archaeology in order more adequately to theorise the situated nature of our knowledge of the past – envisaging landscapes as ‘standpoints’.

Landscapes and Heritage
Landscape archaeologies are often explicitly political: distinguishing how ‘people, differently engaged and differentially empowered, appropriate and contest their landscapes'. By recognising the political dimensions of landscapes and heritage, archaeologists have used the idea of landscape to capture the complex intersections between the human, archaeological and geographical situations in which they work. Indigenous archaeologies have pioneered these approaches to the permeable nature of conventional distinctions between people, places and the past, particularly in North America and Australia, as have the approaches to ‘cultural landscapes’ in heritage management and public archaeology. Two chapters presented in this volume directly address this theme.

Laura McAtackney (Chapter 2) studies one of the most politically contested landscapes in the United Kingdom: the Long Kesh/Maze site in Northern Ireland. From the start of its re-use as a prison in 1971 until its decommissioning in 2000, this landscape was used as an incarceration centre for paramilitary prisoners connected with ‘the Troubles’. McAtackney’s research combines interviews and oral histories with material engagements with the landscape and a range of objects connected with it. She suggests that a landscape approach can avoid unhelpful divisions between the human and material dimensions of the site through the study of the significance, representations (through the media or in political murals) and diverse experiences of the landscape in the past and the present. In all these respects, McAtackney evokes a complex reciprocal and historical process of ebbs and flows in which the landscape has played a part in the political process on a small-scale, intimate and often emotional level as well. Thus, her work contributes to a growing body of work that seeks to move the archaeology of institutional landscapes away from Foucauldian notions of constraint to feminist studies of embodiment. She demonstrates how through the decisions over the future of the site in the post-conflict state, the Long Kesh/Maze landscape continues to play a complex role in contemporary Northern Irish politics.

image: Aerial view of an H Block at Long Kesh/Maze Prison, Northern Ireland, prior to demolition programme

The relationships between communities and archaeological landscapes are explored further in the study by Susan Keitumetse, Geoffrey Matlapeng and Leseka Monamo of the Tsodilo Hills UNESCO World Heritage Site in Botswana (Chapter 5). Here, the archaeological landscape and its significance are visible and interpreted according to international standards. Nevertheless, the authors reveal complexities in reconciling local and official connections to the historic environment. Through interviews, the study reveals that the disenfranchisement of the local population from the management of the site means that the value, maintenance and preservation of the World Heritage Site is generally discussed in terms of tourist income rather than any close connection with the landscape. Here, the authors argue, a lack of involvement of local communities has led to an indifference to the historic environment that is counterproductive in attempts to maintain and enhance the site as a community resource.

Both of these studies seek to capture the close connections between people, archaeological heritage and the everyday lived environment. They suggest that heritage studies can use archaeological ideas of landscape as a way of revealing the attachments and political relationships that develop between landscape and communities, and point towards how heritage management might develop methods of recognising how quotidian human life, as well as material things, forms part of the contemporary historic environment.

Landscapes and Temporality
The temporal dimensions of landscape raised in these studies of contemporary heritage are explored further in four chapters of this volume. This has been a central theme in landscape archaeology over the past 15 years. Roland Fletcher has observed how the built environment constrains the long-term development of settlements. Richard Bradley has explored the ‘afterlives’ of European prehistoric monuments, while Cornelius Holtorf has examined their ‘biographies’ or ‘life histories’. Historical archaeologists have explored the relationships between landscapes and memory. However, the most influential contribution to such studies has been Tim Ingold’s discussion of ‘the temporality of the landscape’. Ingold suggests that ‘temporality’ (as opposed to history or chronology) emerges in a ‘rhythmic’ manner from the ‘pattern’ of human activities or ‘dwelling’ in the landscape. In such a view, events can be seen to ‘encompass a pattern of retentions from the past and protentions for the future’. Ingold introduces the idea of the ‘taskscape’ to denote the temporal and emergent nature of human dwelling in the landscape, and extends this concept to archaeological practice itself:

'[T]he practice of archaeology is itself a form of dwelling. The knowledge born of this practice is thus on a par with that which comes from the practical activity of the native dweller and which the anthropologist, through participation, seeks to learn and understand. For both the archaeologist and the native dweller it tells – or rather is – a story. It enfolds the lives and times of predecessors who, over the generations, have moved around in it and played their part in its formation. To perceive the landscape is therefore to carry out an act of remembrance, and remembering is not so much a matter of calling up an internal image, stored in the mind, as of engaging perceptually with an environment that is itself pregnant with the past. To be sure, the rules and methods of engagement employed respectively by the native dweller and the archaeologist will differ, as will the stories they tell, nevertheless – in so far as both seek the past in the landscape – they are engaged in projects of fundamentally the same kind' (Ingold 1993: 152, original emphasis).

Such an approach contrasts with the emphasis in the ‘interpretive’ archaeologies that emerged in the 1980s and 1990s upon historical and contextual dimensions of ‘meaning’, instead seeing landscapes as emergent and embodied entities that bind together past, present and future.

In this light, the radical archaeological approach to the temporality of landscape presented in Chris Witmore’s study of the South Argolid in Greece (Chapter 9) is of particular interest. Witmore draws upon philosopher Michel Serres’ account of the ‘percolation’ of time, which sees the flow of time as ‘turbulent’ and chaotic, leaving material traces of the past that are ‘folded’ together in the present. Through a discussion of the results of the Argolid Exploration Project – an archaeological programme conducted in 1972 and between 1979–1981 – Witmore argues that landscape archaeology has distinctive methods that can capture the simultaneous (rather than straightforwardly successive) nature of the experience of time in the landscape. Thus for Witmore, time is not an external parameter along which landscape change can be ordered and demarcated chronologically, but a quality of landscape that emerges from momentary engagements with it, including archaeological engagements.
A more conventional sequence of landscape change is presented in Rebecca Yamin and Joseph Schuldenrein’s study (Chapter 4), which combines excavated evidence (often overlooked in landscape archaeology) with documentary and cartographic sources to present an account of the role of the Collect Pond, on Manhattan Island, in the long-term development of the urban landscape of New York City. But here too the authors demonstrate how the past and the present fold into one another. In this case, the focus is upon the many contrasting, sometimes conflicting, histories of the landscape as a place of industry, recreation, domestic life or death and burial: the presentation of the Five Points neighbourhood in the Scorsese movie Gangs of New York, the descriptions of Charles Dickens and the excavation of the African Burial Ground on the edge of the Collect. Here, political acts of remembering people and places elide with the persistent presence and influence of this large archaeological feature in the urban landscape.

The political dimensions of the temporality of landscape are also at the forefront of Christopher Matthews and Matthew Palus’ account of the changing landscapes of the city of Annapolis, Maryland, from the 17th century to the present (Chapter 10). Having traced how the design and development of the urban landscape during the 17th and 18th centuries were bound up with claims of power by city elites, they suggest that during the 19th and 20th centuries similar processes were worked out through the negotiation of the city’s heritage. History was ‘extracted’ from the landscape as a commodity, and through the effects of the historic preservation movement Annapolis became a ‘landscape of American ruins’. This invention of ‘historic Annapolis’ provided a material symbol for American history for tourists and locals alike, designed to evoke the ‘spirit of the revolution’. Matthews and Palus eloquently demonstrate how apparently straightforward debates among preservationists over the removal of the ‘wirescape’ of above-ground utilities in the contemporary urban landscape are bound up with these long-term political processes of power and historical contingency, in which the complexity and changing nature of the historic landscape is denied.

These issues of change and preservation are central to Sam Turner and Graham Fairclough’s account of the theory and practice of historic landscape characterisation (HLC) in Europe (Chapter 6), which is based on examining ‘the historic dimension of the present day landscape’. Building upon the European Landscape Convention’s broad definition of the contemporary political and social dimensions of landscape, HLC seeks to build a landscape approach into the practical requirements of heritage management. They suggest that through its use of the idea of ‘landscape character’, HLC holds the potential to develop more politically engaged and democratic practices in heritage management – acknowledging the lived, everyday and (importantly) changing environments of heritage rather than particular sites that require protection. Thus, the HLC approach has much in common with anthropological approaches to landscapes as ‘time materializing’ in which ‘landscapes, like time, never stand still’.

These chapters explore the radical potential of landscape approaches to underline the contemporary nature of archaeological practice, by seeing landscapes as folding together people and things, past and present, in simultaneous processes of ‘time materialising’. In this way, landscape archaeologies are beginning to make substantive contributions to other social science disciplines that have sought to define the contingencies and auras of particular places. The permeabilities between people, temporality and place are strikingly evoked by environmental sociologist Michael Mayerfeld Bell’s description of landscapes as being filled with ‘ghosts’, or ‘the sense of the presence of those who are not physically there’:

'Ghosts … help constitute the specificity of historical sites, of the places where we feel we belong and do not belong, of the boundaries of possession by which we assign ownership and nativeness. Ghosts of the living and the dead alike, of both individual and collective spirits, haunt the places of our lives. Places are, in a word, personed – even when there is no one there' (Bell 1997: 813)

In this vein, one recent innovative study by archaeologist Rodney Harrison has traced the re-emergence of elements of antiquarian discourse in the ways in which Aboriginal people in New South Wales describe their relationships with archaeological sites. Building on his study of ‘shared landscapes’, Harrison suggests that conventional archaeological discourse too often serves to ‘erase the aura of artefacts’ and sites – thus reducing the potential for acknowledging multiple perspectives or for community engagement. He calls for alternative approaches to cultural heritage management that allow for the ‘special’ qualities of places, akin to a sense of authenticity or memory, to be acknowledged. The studies of temporality and landscape presented here contribute to such attempts to weave together humanistic and material conceptions of archaeological landscapes, seeking to throw light upon the character and contemporary power of landscapes of archaeological heritage.

Landscapes as Situations
In world archaeology, the acknowledgement of the particular disciplinary traditions, social contexts and possibilities of regional archaeologies is a major contemporary challenge that must moderate the desire for international standards, conventions and unity (Hicks 2005). By considering the regional development and reception of ideas of landscape in archaeology, four chapters in this volume explore how different ‘situations’ have informed alternative ideas of landscape in world archaeology.

Martin Kuna and Dagmar Dreslerová (Chapter 7) consider landscape archaeology and settlement archaeology in central Europe. They eloquently demonstrate how ideas and approaches from Britain and elsewhere were partially adopted in this region, and how a distinctive range of theoretical and applied approaches have been developed here. They outline the changing approaches to ‘settlement’ that include concepts of Landesaufnahme and Siedlungskammer, and Evsen Neustupn´y and Martin Kuna’s notion of ‘community areas’. Through two case studies – the Lodˇenice project in central Bohemia, which focuses on an Iron Age industrial site, and a study of Bronze Age tumuli in South Bohemia – they show how such theoretical ideas have been applied through the use of fieldwalking and Geographical Information Systems. Kuna and Dreslerová highlight the importance of finding theoretical and practical approaches that can meet the specific challenges of particular landscapes – in this case regions in which above-ground landscape remains have often been destroyed through intensive arable farming.

Sarah Croucher (Chapter 3) focuses on past and present approaches to archaeological landscapes on the East African Swahili coast. She suggests that a ‘vernacular’ tradition of landscape archaeology has developed in the region. Where previous studies had focused only on the impressive stone buildings – assuming that urban life was a recent introduction to the region from outside and neglecting rural landscapes – recent landscape surveys such as Mark Horton’s work at Shanga in Kenya have demonstrated the antiquity and Indigenous development of Swahili urban landscapes, tracing a complex sequence of timber, thatch and earth structures from the 8th century AD. Croucher calls for such perspectives to be extended to study the roles of landscape in the construction of identity, and, drawing on her recent fieldwork carried out on the islands of Unguja and Pemba, explores the potential of such a focus through a study of the everyday experience of landscape by plantation owners and slaves on 19th century clove plantations. She demonstrates how by working to move beyond the ‘Western gaze’ of conventional archaeology in a reflexive manner, archaeological research can play a crucial role in generating histories of social control and social differentiation in the plantation economies of 19th century Zanzibar.

Reflexivity is also a central theme of Ken Kelly and Neil Norman’s discussion of historical landscape archaeology of Atlantic Africa (Chapter 8). Their landscape approach focuses on ‘the contested and imagined locales that are in a constant state of cultural construction, deconstruction and reconstruction’ with an emphasis on ‘complex and often multiethnic dimensions’. Drawing upon fieldwork undertaken at the trade entrepôts of Savi and its successor, Ouidah, in coastal Bénin, Kelly and Norman demonstrate the complexities of colonial interactions in West Africa. They consider the manifestations of power for both the Hueda and Dahomey states in their control and restriction of space that European traders could occupy and fortify. Their study reminds us of the variety and complexity of the landscapes of the historical Atlantic world, and of the need for more nuanced archaeologies of colonial encounters and interactions.

Mark Hauser and Dan Hicks (Chapter 11) consider the potential of developing postcolonial approaches to landscape in the historical archaeology of the anglophone Caribbean. Building upon Chris Gosden’s (2004) approach to colonialism as a material process, they consider the close historical relationships between colonialism and landscape, which have affected the development of the disciplines of archaeology and anthropology, and they point to interdisciplinary calls to complement purely ideational, interpretive studies with an acknowledgement of the material dimensions of landscape. Considering recent debates over domination, resistance and power in Caribbean plantation archaeology, and building upon Hicks’ study of landscape archaeology in the eastern Caribbean, they suggest that landscape archaeology’s distinctive methodologies hold the potential to be used to develop studies of the complex materialities of colonialism, which might complement previous studies of ‘ideas of landscape’ – which in colonial contexts have tended to overdetermine the power of the coloniser, and to define the agency of the colonised only in terms of resistance.

Landscapes as Standpoints
The chapters presented here emphasise landscape archaeology’s material engagements with temporality, community heritage and public archaeology, along with the details of particular situations and the complex permeabilities between human and nonhuman dimensions of landscape. Together, they underline what might be termed the hybrid nature of archaeological conceptions of landscape. While this rather empirical focus – upon the material as well as the ideational – is, perhaps, unfashionable, it encourages us to take stock of the diversity of landscape archaeologies in different situations. Moreover, it points to the potential of reorienting the humanistic consensus of Anglo-American ‘post-processual’, ‘interpretive’ or ‘social’ archaeologies of landscape that has represented a powerful voice in mainstream world archaeology during the past decade. To understand the ‘received view’, we may turn to Matthew Johnson’s recent review of Ideas of Landscape. Johnson contrasts an ‘empirical school’ of landscape archaeology, represented by the work of British archaeologists such as Mick Aston and Tom Williamson, with the studies of anthropologists and cultural geographers whose ‘discussions of the meanings of landscape sit at the forefront of theoretical debate’:

'It is easy to peruse the pages of Landscape History, Journal of the Medieval Settlement Research Group, and Landscapes and conclude that landscape archaeology remains firmly in the grip of the most unreflective empiricism in which ‘theory’ is a dirty word and the only reality worth holding onto is that of muddy boots – a direct, unmediated encounter with the "real world"' (Johnson 2006: 2)

Johnson does not seek to criticise any of these writers, but the account of landscape studies as having a ‘double nature … simultaneously one of the most fashionable and avant-garde areas of scholarly enquiry, and also, paradoxically, one of the most theoretically dormant areas’ passes perhaps too quickly over issues of situation, method, practice and materiality. The strong humanistic focus of interpretive archaeology famously engendered a dissatisfaction with the dry empiricism of some landscape archaeology, and its ‘anecdotal’ discussions of human agency. The argument was clearly set out by John Barrett:

'To describe the landscape as a history of things that have been done to the land results in a cataloguing of the material transformations wrought upon the land. This procedure conforms with current archaeological expectations. To understand the landscape as inhabited demands a significant shift in our perceptions, and it is one that will not carry current methodological procedures with it. To inhabit the landscape is to look about, observe, and to make sense of what one sees; it is to interpret' (Barrett 1999: 26).

Like Barrett, Julian Thomas suggests that ‘overwhelmingly empiricist’ approaches in landscape archaeology have developed accounts that ‘often see[m] quite remote from the past human lives that were lived in these places’. But despite this dissatisfaction with the methods of landscape archaeology, the focus in interpretive archaeology upon ‘reading’ landscape has, when it comes to field practice, led only to the generation of phenomenological studies which have been criticised by both post-processual and processual archaeologists alike for parochialism, nostalgia, romanticism or poor methodological standards.

Others, however, have suggested that alternative ‘romantic’ approaches to ‘landscape’ and more empirical approaches to ‘settlement’ both form important aspects of spatial archaeology. By underlining the active role of landscapes in social life, archaeology’s interpretive turn problematised the ‘epistemological metaphors’ (insights, perceptions, focuses, views) that give social scientists the sense that knowledge is revealed, or made visible, rather than constructed, but it simultaneously turned away from landscapes’ material biographies, and the engagements, attachments and entanglements with complex ‘landscapes’ of many people, places and material things through which archaeological knowledge is constituted. A number of recent studies, informed especially by perspectives from ethnography and science studies, have started to redress this imbalance. A focus on landscape in its broadest sense – the heterogeneous, constantly shifting networks of places, people, institutions and objects – reveals how archaeology is a relational process, rather than purely descriptive and discovering, or purely creative or interpretive. As Barbara Bender has argued, we must learn to acknowledge mess, complexity and contradiction, ‘disorder and untidiness’, not only in the remains of past landscapes that we study but in our contemporary disciplinary landscapes as well. Doing so can represent a political move, which uses archaeological techniques to expose the positionality and situated nature of our contemporary knowledge of the past.

How, then, might the studies collected here begin to contribute to the recognition of the heterogeneous situations (both human and nonhuman) in which world archaeology is practiced? While archaeologists and anthropologists of landscape have often self-consciously rejected Western traditions of landscape as empiricist, painterly or viewed, the same studies have clearly demonstrated the strength of landscape approaches to generate alternative archaeologies. We suggest here that landscape archaeology might be used to frame distinctive kinds of reflexive archaeologies, which seek to use the material engagements of archaeology to move beyond the Euro-ethnocentrism that is inherent in conventional ideas of landscape to forge alternative archaeologies that acknowledge the material diversity of landscapes, as well as just the multiple ways in which landscape is conceived or understood. We suggested at the start of this chapter that diversity represents a principal strength of landscape archaeology, inherent in its methods and practices. The distinctive thing about this pluralism is that it is not simply relativism, but is materially situated. The radical potential of landscape archaeology, then, lies in its ability to generate distinctively archaeological perspectives upon positionality, and the situated nature of all archaeological knowledge. Landscape archaeology has seen a strong critique of the ‘jeweller’s eye’ approach to landscape, in which knowledge appears to be constructed from nowhere, or from everywhere. This is like what Donna Haraway has termed the ‘God trick’ of infinite vision. We look down impossibly upon plotted distribution maps or culture historical movements, generated out of attitudes to landscape and technologies of field survey largely developed through European colonialism.

In recognising how landscapes emerge from human action in particular situations, some landscape archaeologies have come close to two distinctive feminist positions: Sandra Harding’s ‘standpoint epistemology’ – which built upon Nancy Hartsock’s conception of ‘a specifically feminist historical materialism’ and has been more recently combined with postcolonial theory in science studies – and Donna Haraway’s notions of ‘situated knowledges’ and ‘the privilege of a partial perspective’. We want to suggest that seeing archaeological landscapes as standpoints – that is, as situations in which material conditions, human life, political contexts and research practice are bound up together – represents one way of developing the potential of landscape archaeology to acknowledge diversity in the archaeological past and the disciplinary present.

Standpoint epistemologies remain little explored within archaeology, mainly due to their previous tendencies towards essentialist conceptions of identity. However, as Alison Wylie has observed, they hold significant potential to contribute a sense of contingency and subject-specificity to our understanding of the construction of scientific knowledge. In gender archaeology, third-wave approaches have set the agenda here, particularly:

'Feminist approaches … [that] share a focus on local, empirical data. … Especially within Americanist gender archaeology, a feminist epistemology seems to have emerged that concentrates on the small-scale, on everyday occurrences and relations between people, on subtle shifts in power and relations of production. … Drawing on their own perspectives, some feminists are creating an archaeology concerned less with hierarchies and meta-narratives and more with the observation of detail, complexities, and local or personal experience' (Gilchrist 1999: 29–30).
How might such perspectives operate at the multiple scales of analysis that a landscape perspective encourages? The challenge for interpretive perspectives in archaeology around the world is to find ways of expressing more than simply a sense of how archaeological data are ‘mediated by interpretive theory’, building instead upon the ‘mitigated objectivism’ that Alison Wylie suggests characterised both the processual and post-processual archaeologies – the awareness of the particularity and contingency of archaeological knowledge. Understood in this way, perhaps landscape archaeology is a good place from which to think through interpretive archaeology’s calls for reflexive approaches: providing one way through which archaeologists can acknowledge, as some social anthropologists have, that the ‘connections’ we make are always ‘partial’ – in both senses of the word, neither total nor impartial (Strathern 1991). Here, we follow Wylie’s suggestion that:

'Political self-consciousness enforces a critical awareness of the contingency of knowledge production that does not (necessarily) entail a politically and epistemically paralysing cynicism about the process of inquiry…. [The challenge is one of] negotiating the tensions created by a commitment to use the tools of systematic empirical enquiry to rigorously question the authority and presuppositions of scientific inquiry, to turn science and history against themselves when they serve as tools of oppression, and to reclaim their emancipatory potential' (Wylie 1995: 272).

From a humid, rainy July evening in southwest England, how can we envisage landscapes in world archaeology? At one scale of analysis world archaeologists are unified in a number of political and theoretical programmes, while at a more fine-grained scale human and material diversity emerges. The lesson that we learn from landscape archaeology is that both scales co-exist, simultaneously. They emerge as we enact world archaeologies. Like any world system, contemporary world archaeology

'is a social system, one that has boundaries, structures, member groups, rules of legitimation, and coherence. Its life is made up of the conflicting forces which hold it together by tension and tear it apart as each group seeks eternally to remold it to its advantage' (Wallerstein 1976: 229).

But in editing this volume we have tried to put across our sense that archaeologies of landscape offer a powerful range of tools that can be appropriated and used to place diversity at the centre of the theory and practice of world archaeology. By approaching the boundaries between people, situations, heritage and temporality as permeable, contingent and emergent, an awareness of the hybridity of archaeological landscapes and of the multi-sited practices of landscape archaeology can help us to move beyond essentialised or nationalist notions of regional or local archaeologies, and to celebrate the diversity of contemporary archaeology.

This position risks the charge of ‘eclecticism’, and the accusation that ‘contradictions and incompatibilities … can arise from juxtaposing fragments from different theoretical programs’. But we prefer to see the potential of world archaeology as similar to that of ‘unity in diversity’ in world anthropology. This involves a shift that Nick Shepherd has described as leading from ‘One World Archaeology’ to ‘One World, Many Archaeologies’. In the process, recognising that situations in which archaeology is practiced are never purely social, and that archaeological knowledge is never simply a social construction, is crucial. The landscapes of world archaeology are landscapes of complex and uneven materialities. Where many past and present voices are silenced or erased, our conception of landscapes as standpoints seeks to emphasise that a focus upon ‘materiality’ can be double-edged: combining the study of material things with a sense of human significance. Situated archaeologies can confront these silences, highlighting things that ‘matter’. They can not just accommodate, but can celebrate, the contingent diversities of contemporary world archaeology. In this respect, archaeologies of landscape can represent not only politically engaged archaeologies, but also archaeologies of hope.

Selected References
Bender, B. 1993. Landscape: Politics and Perspectives. Oxford: Berg.
Bradley, R. 2000. An Archaeology of Natural Places. London: Routledge.
De Cunzo, L. and J.H. Ernstein 2006. Landscapes, Ideology and Experience in Historical Archaeology. In D. Hicks and M.C. Beaudry (eds) The Cambridge Companion to Historical Archaeology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 255–270.
Fletcher, R. 1995. The Limits of Settlement Growth: A Theoretical Outline. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Haraway, D.J. 1991. Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. London: Free Association Books.
Harding, S. 1998. Is Science Multicultural? Postcolonialisms, Feminisms and Epistemologies. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.
Harrison, R. 2004. Shared Landscapes: Archaeologies of Attachment and the Pastoral Industry in New South Wales. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press (Studies in the Cultural Construction of Open Space 3).
Hicks, D. 2007. The Garden of the World: A Historical Archaeology of Sugar Landscapes in the Eastern Caribbean. Oxford: Archaeopress (Studies in Contemporary and Historical Archaeology 3).
Hodder, I. 1999. The Archaeological Process. Oxford: Blackwell.
Holtorf, C.J. and H. Williams 2006. Landscapes and Memories. In D. Hicks and M.C. Beaudry (eds) The Cambridge Companion to Historical Archaeology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 235–254.
Ingold, I. 1993. The Temporality of the Landscape. World Archaeology 25(2): 152–174. [Reprinted in Ingold's 2000 Perception of the Environment (Routledge)]
Johnson, M.H. 2006. Ideas of Landscape: An Introduction. Oxford: Blackwell.
Schiffer, M.B. (ed.) 2000. Social Theory in Archaeology. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press (Foundations of Archaeological Inquiry).
Schmidt, P.R. and T.C. Patterson (eds) 1995. Making Alternative Histories: The Practice of Archaeology and History in Non-Western Settings. Santa Fe: School of American Research Press.
Serres, M. and B. Latour 1995. Conversations on Science, Culture, and Time (trans. R. Lapidus). Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Strathern, M. 1991. Partial Connections. Savage, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.
Tilley, C. 1994. A Phenomenology of Landscape. Oxford: Berg.
Whatmore, S. 2002. Hybrid Geographies: natures, cultures, spaces. London: Sage.
Wylie, A. 2002.Thinking from Things: Essays in the Philosophy of Archaeology. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Table of Contents
1. Introduction : landscapes as standpoints (Dan Hicks and Laura McAtackney)
2. The contemporary politics of landscape at the Long Kesh/Maze Prison site, Northern Ireland (Laura McAtackney)
3. Facing many ways: approaches to the archaeological landscapes of the East African coast (Sarah Croucher)
4. Landscape archaeology in Lower Manhattan: the collect pond as an evolving cultural landmark in early New York City (Rebecca Yamin and Joseph Schuldenrein)
5. Cultural landscapes, communities and world heritage: in pursuit of the local in the Tsodilo Hills, Botswana (Susan O. Keitumetse, Geoffrey Matlapeng and Leseka Monamo)
6. Common culture : the archaeology of landscape character in Europe (Sam Turner and Graham Fairclough)
7. Landscape archaeology and 'community areas' in the archaeology of Central Europe (Martin Kuna and Dagmar Dreslerová)
8. Historical archaeologies of landscape in Atlantic Africa (Kenneth G. Kelly and Neil Norman)
9. Landscape, time, topology : an archaeological account of the Southern Argolid, Greece (Christopher L. Witmore)
10. A landscape of ruins : building historic Annapolis (Christopher Matthews and Matthew Palus)
11. Colonialism and landscape : power, materiality and scales of analysis in Caribbean historical archaeology (Mark W.Hauser and Dan Hicks)

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