Archaeologies of Space, Place, and GIS
Module code: AR3047
Module co-ordinator: Dr Mark Gillings
- Why is an effective understanding of space and place central to the discipline of archaeology?
- How have archaeologists (Philosophers, Anthropologists, Geographers and Historians) conceptualised and studied the inherent spatiality of past social life?
- What theoretical and practical considerations underpin the application of GIS?
- How can we use GIS to carry out qualitative, quantitative and experiential spatial analyses?
This module concerns the inherent spatiality of past human social life and the ways in which spatial technologies such as Geographical Information Systems (GIS) can be used to explore and interpret it. Following a general historical overview of spatial approaches in Archaeology and more detailed theoretical and practical discussion of some of the key approaches adopted, you will then be introduced to the theory and practice of archaeological GIS. Through a series of detailed sessions we will use GIS to explore:
- abstract conceptualisations of space and the measurement of spatial patterns
- socially-embedded spaces and the centrality of place
- representations of space and the role of mapping.
What is space?
Abstract spaces? a neutral backdrop to social life; how we recognise, measure and explain spatial patterns
Meaningful places? embedded within and inseparable from social life.
Exploring space and place: patterns, distributions, experience, encounter and memory – synergies and tensions
Constructing space: how archaeologists have begun to analyse the inherent spatiality of the built environment
What is GIS, how does it work and what are archaeologists doing with it?
Practical 1 - creating a spatial database
Practical 2 - analysing spaces with GIS
Practical 3 - exploring places with GIS
Practical 4 - creating maps and interactive visualisations
- 6 two-hour lectures
- 4 two-hour practical sessions
- 3 one-hour practical workshops
- 2,500-word essay (40%)
- 3,500-word project (60%)