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Book: Critical Approaches to Cypriot and Wider Mediterranean Archaeology

Chapter: 8. Towards a Post-survey Landscape Archaeology

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.42484


Forty years after the beginning of the ‘new wave’ of intensive survey in the Mediterranean, it has become an established and widely accepted technique for the discovery and analysis of archaeological material on a landscape scale. In spite of the claims of its early enthusiasts, as well as numerous projects and large amounts of data, intensive survey has failed to engage successfully with contemporary landscape theory and wider social and environmental challenges. These concerns are heightened by a worrying decline in the number of articles published on intensive survey since 2010. To explore these issues, I present a conceptual history of survey in its political and social context. I ask what a post-survey landscape archaeology might look like, and suggest some ways in which it can be revitalised and thereby contribute to contemporary ecological and social challenges proactively and productively. Three concepts provide helpful ways forward here: a close engagement with ecological data and processes; systems theory, particularly the developing field of socioecological systems; and conviviality as a framework for understanding positive and productive relations among all social and ecological partners in past and present landscapes.

Chapter Contributors

  • Michael Given ( - michaelgiven) 'University of Glasgow'