Anthropologist Ford Discusses Landscape Archaeology as Viewed from the Water

Posted on 1/16/2014 11:34:40 AM

Ben Ford recently presented a paper discussing maritime cultural landscapes at the 47th Conference on Historical and Underwater Archaeology in Quebec City, Canada.

Ford’s paper, “What Happens to Landscape Archaeology when the Land Ends? The Archaeology of Maritime Landscapes” was part of a session titled “Foregrounding the Landscape in Archaeology.”

Ford’s paper discussed landscape archaeology as viewed from the water. Following the conference theme of questions that count, it addressed a series of questions: Does the landscape change when viewed from the water? How best to approach landscapes as viewed from the water? What is the relationship between geography, technology, and culture in approaching a landscape from water? And finally, what is the role of maritime landscapes in the larger field of landscape archaeology? In order to address these questions, Ford drew on his own experience with the maritime landscapes of the Great Lakes, as well as published historical, archaeological, and geographical sources.

The symposium presented listeners with a wide range of papers tied by the threads of landscape analysis. Some archaeologists are interested in the social negotiation of space and place while others focus on spatial analysis or landform dynamics. Others attempt to combine a number of approaches in their landscape research. This session demonstrated that you can investigate a broad variety of historical archaeological questions, theories, and methods using the concept of landscape.

Department of Anthropology