Towards a Unified 'Heritage Ecology': Developing a Systems-Based Approach to Research in Archaeology and Heritage
Author(s): Andrew Lorey
Archaeologists and researchers in heritage-based disciplines frequently study the complex interactions between human societies and natural environments. All too often, however, research proceeds from the premise that natural patterns, stressors and events promote direct cultural changes or adaptations on the part of human societies. Instead of perpetuating this linear and causal understanding of the relationships between nature and culture, this paper develops a new, holistic framework that encourages researchers to understand cultural and natural elements as part of a broader network of multidirectional associations and connections.
In order to break down this false opposition between nature and culture, the paper expands upon previous definitions of ‘heritage ecology’ and provides a new conceptual model that facilitates the analysis of agentive and multidirectional interactions between natural and cultural forces and actors. Dividing this model into three types of components—fabrics, elements and actors—the paper then applies a ‘heritage ecosystem’ approach to a case study in the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu. The paper concludes by offering suggestions as to how researchers may employ the framework within other research settings.
Cite this Record
Towards a Unified 'Heritage Ecology': Developing a Systems-Based Approach to Research in Archaeology and Heritage. Andrew Lorey. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429452)
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Abstract Id(s): 17081