Home > Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project > Landscape Archaeology in a Reflexive Mode

Landscape Archaeology in a Reflexive Mode

Here’s a preview of part of our AIA poster.  It seems to be somewhere between almost and done.  The ideas are all there, but the text is a work in progress.

The Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project developed its objectives and methods within a landscape approach to archaeological research. This approach is consistent with recent work on Cyprus and elsewhere in the Mediterranean (e.g. Given, Knapp, Coleman 2003). While “landscape archaeology” is open multiple definitions, our interpretation of a landscape approach views archaeology as a particular discourse located at the intersection of the cultural (i.e. textual sources, ceramic artifacts, architectural features, et c.), physical (i.e. geological, topographical, et c.), and methodological (i.e. procedural, technological, et c.) space. Applying this paradigm to the coastal zone of Pyla Village in Cyprus enabled PKAP to produce familiar types of archaeological data such as artifact densities and typologies, maps of architectural remains, and detailed topographies. At the same time, PKAP sought to document the team’s ongoing engagement with the tools, methods, and experience of the archaeological enterprise. While the traditional data of archaeological exploration has well-established venues for distribution such as journal articles, conference papers, and the summarizing monograph, documenting the experience of archaeology requires a variety of different media ranging from interactive internet based datasets to digital video recording, undergraduate and graduate level student research, and regularly updated online journals. The development of these alternative media for archaeological research complemented the reflexive atmosphere on the project where each member of the PKAP team provided a distinct perspective on archaeological knowledge. To do this, PKAP has employed a diverse array of media (each with its own character) to record and to incorporate reflexive knowledge within a synthetic archaeological landscape. The preliminary results of this ongoing research is a robust multivocal and diverse assemblage of archaeological data which, in turn, produces an archaeological landscape informed by the relationship between the archeological objects of study, the archaeologist, and the media employed for its expression. This totalizing view of the archaeological project combines craft perspectives on fieldwork and research (Skanks and McGuire 1996) and recent discussions of reflexivity (Hodder 2000, Hodder and Berggren 2003) under the integrative paradigm of landscape archaeology.

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