Archaeological Resources in Design and Landscape


This project includes a collection of documents, presentations, images, and other information related to how archaeological resources contribute to the appearence of the world around us. A small percentage of archaeological monuments and sites are strikingly scenic and project themselves into our view. Examples of such obvious landscape features include: Egyptian and Mesoamerian pyramids and their associated building complexes; monumental earthen architecture such as Monks Mound at Cahokia and Serpent Mound in Ohio; and, ancient cliffdwellings in the American Southwest, such as Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde and Montezuma Castle in Arizona. Some archaeological resources emerge from their subterranean context in some areas, like the visible portions of icebergs, while remaining concealed to simple human vision in other parts of the site. The long band of wall segments, fortified gates, camps, and associated structures that comprises Hadrian's Wall in northern England is an example of this kind of on-again-off-again contribution to what we can see in our modern view. The wall and its related structures are strikingly part of the modern scene in some of the rural middle portions of its length, but dive under the surface in the urban areas at its eastern and western extents. In most instances, archaeological sites are completely hidden beneath the modern surface and to be viewed must be uncovered to be viewed, such as at Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia where the foundations and hearths of the last home that Benjamin Franklin occupied have been excavated and exposed as part of public intepretive program describing the life and times of this American icon.

In all but a few parts of the world the archaeological record is invisible. Most often the remains of past dwellings and other structures, places of activity, ceremony, manufacturing, and sport are covered by new buildings, roads, soil, and vegetation. Yet, nearly all individuals, cultures, or groups that inhabit a place leave some material trace of themselves and their uses of the place behind them.

When discovered, carefully documented, and interpreted, these material traces provide links between the past inhabitants of a place and its contemporary dwellers who occupied it in the present. Common use of the same place by different groups through time can serve to connect individuals of different backgrounds and cultures. Drawing contections with what happened in a place before they arrived at it provides modern inhabitants with the opportunity to reflect not only on the past of the place, but also on their own modern way of life.

The materials in this project provide examples of and reflections about situations in which archaeological remains have served to anchor contemporary designs, facilities, or landscapes in time through the incorporation of ancient or historic period archaeological remains, or representations of them in modern spatial designs. Issues of conservation; the depiction of multiple historical interpretations; the nature of representation; and the involvement of local communities and of modern descendents of ancient and historic groups in projects are considered by the contributors.

Cite this Record

Archaeological Resources in Design and Landscape. ( tDAR id: 6027) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8X068GW

Resources Inside this Project (Viewing 1-2 of 2)

  • Documents (2)


  1. Archaeological Resources and Archaeology in the Landscape
  2. Archaeological Resources and the Shared Heritage of Place