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Dwelling in Space through Knowledge of Place: Building on Epistemological Understandings of the Seventeenth-Century British Atlantic

Author(s): Hayden Bassett

Year: 2014

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Summary

Epistemologies of space, environment, dwelling, and the body are essential to the study of past individuals through their constructed spaces. Most important to this study is the notion that one’s knowledge of the world is integral to the ways in which one dwells within it. This paper explores colonial English epistemologies of climate through an analysis of dwelling spaces of the 17th-century Chesapeake. Using Ingold’s notion of the “weather-world”, I consider Early-Modern perceptions of air, temperature, and the body as vital to understanding the various ways in which colonial landscapes were defined and shaped. To do so, I employ an analytical method known as Buildings Information Modeling (BIM) to understand the implications of 17th-century pit house construction, investigating the ways in which individuals interact with an environment, constructing and dwelling through a particular way of knowing the world. This paper ultimately demonstrates how archaeological evidence speaks to the material ways in which people manipulate their experience of place, to not only experience their surroundings, but shape them to fit the epistemological context that creates a ‘knowledge of place’.


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Dwelling in Space through Knowledge of Place: Building on Epistemological Understandings of the Seventeenth-Century British Atlantic. Hayden Bassett. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 437267)


Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-71,04

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