A Phenomenology of Landscape Places, Paths and Monuments

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This book, in many ways, is an exercise in a 'blurred genre',
involving insights acquired through a reading of works of a
phenomenological approach in philosophy, cultural anthropology, and human geography and recent interpretative work in
archaeology. It is not intended to 'represent' any of these fields,
or individual positions taken within them, but rather aims to set
elements of them to work pragmatically in a consideration of prehistoric landscapes.
The book is divided into two Parts. In the first, Chapter 1 sets
out a general theoretical perspective on the significance of spaces,
places and landscapes in small-scale, non-Western societies.
Chapter 2 considers issues of landscape use and perception in
relation to hunter-gatherers and subsistence cultivators from a
consideration of ethnographic literature. The second Part of the
book is an empirical exercise in attempting to develop a framework with which to understand long-term relationships between
people and features of the landscape. Chapters 3, 4 and 5 discuss
the development of archaeological landscapes from the
Mesolithic to the Neolithic. The key question addressed is deceptively simple: why were particular locations chosen for habitation
and the erection of monuments as opposed to others? It is of central importance for the interpretative reconstruction of prehistoric lifeworlds. The standard approach to such a question within
the archaeological literature has concentrated on factors of the
environment such as relief, climate, soils, water supply and the
seasonal availability of exploitable resources.