Item Details

Commotion, Collaboration, Conviviality: Mediterranean Survey and the Interpretation of Landscape

Issue: Vol 26 No. 1 (2013)

Journal: Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology

Subject Areas: Ancient History Archaeology

DOI: 10.1558/jmea.v26i1.3


Over the last three decades, Mediterranean survey projects have established a broadly agreed methodology, a wide awareness of the invaluable contribution made by intensive survey, and a wealth of data from across the region. Where they have made less progress is in the interpretation of artefact density figures and other findings to go beyond the dots on the map and gain insights into past human lives, the complexity of past landscapes, and the relationship between people and the environment. The key to this is engaging with theories that connect humans and non-humans. In this article I use the term commotion to suggest the constant and continually changing lines of mobility and interaction that constitute the landscape. Collaboration is the ongoing creation and transformation of place through the elaborately intertwined work of people, animals, plants, soils, water, weather, rocks and landforms. Conviviality stands for the life-giving creativity and transformation that is constantly proliferating from the intricate association and interaction with other beings, both human and non-human. My examples come from the Troodos Archaeological and Environmental Survey Project, an interdisciplinary and multi-period project carried out on the northern edge of the Troodos Mountains of Cyprus.

Author: Michael Given

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References :

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Given, M., A.B. Knapp, L. Sollars, J.S. Noller and V. Kassianidou (eds.) 2013 Landscape and Interaction: The Troodos Archaeological and Environmental Survey Project, Cyprus. Volume 2: The TAESP Landscape. Levant Supplementary Series. London: Council for British Research in the Levant.

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