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Material as Behavior: The Role of Generative Information Mechanisms in Restricting and Aiding in Settlement Dynamics

Author(s): Shelby Manney

Year: 2016

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Summary

Archaeologists have long argued that the built environment is an expression of prehistoric community organizations, social interactions, and changes through time. Traditionally, archaeologists have interpreted buildings and settlement landscapes as proxies for estimating population size; indices of power structures; representations of community organization; markers of social interactions; etc. Even though there has been an increasing awareness of the importance of architecture it has been challenging to operationalize a shared common method and dialogue. The concept of formalization of approaches to ancient architecture is not new, yet in most areas archaeologists have been slow to adopt methods and concepts for analysis of built environments from disciplines outside of archaeology. To this end, I will explore the applicability of outside methods and concepts as a means of operationalizing and unifying existing scholarship. I will consider concepts of (1) form and place as conceptualized by French architect Pierre von Meiss (1990); (2) urban morphology and "the Conzenian tradition" of "townscape" (in Smith 2011; see also Conzen 1968, 1988; Whitehead 2001, Lilly 2000 and others); (3) Roland Fletcher’s work on the limits of settlement Growth (2007). In this way, empirical evidence should outline preliminary patterns, baselines, thresholds, and boundaries.


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Material as Behavior: The Role of Generative Information Mechanisms in Restricting and Aiding in Settlement Dynamics. Shelby Manney. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404851)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America