Space Matters: A Reflection on Archaeological Theory and Method for Interpreting the Materiality of Space

Baumanova, Monika. (2016) Space Matters: A Reflection on Archaeological Theory and Method for Interpreting the Materiality of Space. Interdisciplinaria archaeologica. Natural Sciences in Archaeology, 7 (2). pp. 209-216.

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Every paradigm in the history of archaeological theory has in some way dealt with space in interpreting the archaeological record; either bringing it into the spotlight or using it to assist description of other observed phenomena. This has resulted in a varied range of approaches to space, but also brought with it inherent problems. Paradigms once regarded as incompatible are now reconciled in mutual coexistence, but maintain little dialogue. Certain methods of spatial analyses have begun to be used as theory-neutral, and space often remains implicitly studied using methods as a set of tools, without exploration of adequate theory. The goal of this paper is to present a perspective on how archaeologists may proceed in order to apply both analytical methods to seek patterns in the past and interpret past constructed space. Although space is an intangible entity, it is argued it may be seen as a human-made material culture that plays an active role in social processes. As a case study, I contrast the advantages and shortcomings of several archaeological studies concerned with the spatial structure of the Swahili house. It is argued that we need to actively engage approaches that reveal quantifiable patterns in the built environment, as well as consult more relativistic issues of perception, sensory experience, and social production and consumption of space.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Gesellschaftswissenschaften > Fachbereich Soziologie > Afrikastudien (Macamo)
UniBasel Contributors:Baumanova, Monika
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Archeological Centre Olomouc
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:03 Oct 2018 13:57
Deposited On:03 Oct 2018 13:57

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