The Poster Session provides a different way to debate your scientific proposals for this 6th biennial of the Landscape Archaeology Conference. As posters are a more visual synthesis of research approaches, they allow for an easier and more conversational interaction between the audience and the presenters. They also offer a great opportunity for researchers to display detailed, precise information such as quantitative data, charts or graphs. The main objectives of the session are to promote the exchange of ideas and interdisciplinary contacts between experts in a more informal manner.

We are especially interested in posters that present new and innovative ways of examining landscape from diverse scientific, practical, and theoretical perspectives. We encourage you to participate by submitting your proposal related to one or more of the themes of the conference listed below:

  • Multidisciplinarity in landscape research: techniques and theories
  • Technologies applied to the study of landscape
  • Symbolic, Relict, Living and Landscapes of Memory
  • Mobility, settlement and resilience: human dynamics in landscape
  • Climate change, Anthropocene and environmental shock: the landscape as a tool to analyse the transformations of the past and the future
  • The landscape as cultural heritage: management, knowledge transfer and local communities

The poster session will be held at the central gallery of the main venue, the Humanities & Social Sciences Center (CCHS) building. It will take place during a break, at a time yet to be decided by the Scientific Committee. Participants are encouraged to stand by their poster during that break. The final programme will specify when the poster session will take place.


This is an open session for all the attendees that are interested in the general themes of LAC2020, but feel their contributions do not fit in the accepted sessions. This includes papers and posters that engage with landscape archaeology theory or methodology. They may focus more on methodological aspects, such as surveying and data-analysis techniques, in theoretical approaches to settlement, space and meaning, as well as thematic examples of case studies within a broad-ranging focus. Special interest will be paid to examples of long-term, comparative and interdisciplinary approaches.

LAC2020 key themes are: 

Multidisciplinarity in landscape research: techniques and theories

Technologies applied to the study of landscape

Mobility, settlement and resilience: human dynamics in landscape

The landscape as cultural heritage: management, knowledge transfer and local communities

Symbolic, Relict, Living and Landscapes of Memory

Climate change, Anthropocene and environmental shock: the landscape as a tool to analyse the transformations of the past and the future.

Landscapes as living archives: “multi-proxy” approaches to profiling socio-ecological changes over time and across space

Open Session

Martin Seeliger

  • Faculty of Geosciences, Goethe-University Frankfurt

Anna Pint

  • Institute of Geography, University of Cologne

Federica Sulas

  • UrbNet; Aarhus University

 Abstract: Landscapes are unique archives of human footprints and environmental processes. A long tradition of archaeological research has elucidated key developments of human landscapes from the longevity of agricultural expansion in temperate regions to creative responses to serendipitous climate extremes in the Mediterranean basin, to mention but two important examples. As landscape archaeology deepens and widens knowledge of the past, so do the challenges of disentangling the complexities of the human-environment nexus: socio-ecological processes, actors and impacts operate at multiple spatial and temporal scales; the importance of baseline and reference datasets to characterise natural versus anthropogenic conditions, processes and outputs. Furthermore, most of the theories and practices of landscape archaeology have developed in and for temperate environments, making their applications to other biogeographic settings not straightforward. Methodological advances in the extraction and study of multiple proxies, from organic and inorganic sources to remotely sensed records and nano-scale markers, are expanding resolution and detail at an unprecedented level. However, these advances also introduce new challenges: which methods to integrate to investigate what and where. Recent applications combining geomorphological, geophysical, bio-geo-archaeological analyses have proven powerful and effective to examine archives and to decipher the evolution of landscapes under human influence. To bring research forward, this session calls for contributions that illustrate the potentials, challenges, and frontiers of multi-proxy methods and multi-scalar analysis in profiling human landscapes over time. Looking at landscapes as archives, specific topics to be addressed include (1) Baseline and reference data; (2) Context versus scale; (3) Trends versus anomalies; and (4) Biochronologies.

Landscapes of War. Analyzing the Immateriality through Geographic Information Systems

Open Session

Mario Ramírez Galán.

  • University of Portland.

Cristina de Juana.

  • Archaeologist.

 Abstract: With the study of the Battle of Little Bighorn (Montana, The United States of America) in the eighties, a new field of research was born. This research was carried out with a modern archaeological methodology by Douglas D. Scott. ever since, the analysis of military conflicts has been a transcendental subject within the field of archaeology, gaining importance during the last years thanks to the investigation of a wide range of archaeological sites from diverse ages. Archeological studies of battlefields, sieges, etc. can give us new insights and detailed knowledge of the events during different battles. This can often contribute to, and sometimes change, the information we have from written sources. However, some aspects are more complicated to analyze due to the lack of materiality or shortage in the landscape. It is for that reason that interdisciplinary approaches must be carried out in order to complete those blanks in historical and archaeological sources.

Military conflicts present different immaterial elements, such as visibility, the selection of a specific position or the path taken to assault, all playing decisive roles. It is essential to know them to obtain complete knowledge. Multiple times, that information is left out in written sources. This becomes a difficulty when analyzing historical military conflicts. In order to provide new perspectives about imperceptible components, the use of GIS is necessary, for archaeological findings can facilitate a partial explanation about what occurred. The combination of structures and artifacts with geographic information systems provide a more complete knowledge due to the application of visibility and intervisibility studies, the modeling least of least cost paths or the calculation of buffer areas.

We aim to provide a discussion platform to better understand those immaterial concepts and answer possible questions like: what they could see, what path did they select, etc. We thus invite speakers with a background in battlefield archaeology and related fields to present case studies in which these previously mentioned methods were used to provide deeper insight into these questions.

Post-classical resilient landscapes and urbanscapes: continuities, breakdowns and afterlife in Mediterranean during Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (AD 400 – 1000)

Open Session

Angelo Castrorao Barba


Pilar Diarte-Blasco

  • Universidad de Alcalá

Manuel Castro-Priego

  • Universidad de Alcalá

Abstract: Over the last decade, knowledge about Mediterranean landscapes during the long-term has grown exponentially, thanks to a multidisciplinary approach and the application of innovative technologies. A landscape perspective, beyond a sito-centric vision, represented a way to combine settlement patterns and human-environment interactions as a crucial point to understand societies in transition. In particular, one of the big-narrative in historical breakdowns and change is the end of the Roman world and its transformation from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle ages. Particularly significant and valuable are results generated by projects which tackle the last centuries of the Roman Empire and the consolidation of the Early Medieval kingdoms the rise and expansion of Islam, when upheavals, conflict, migration combined to cause drastic change in the character of settlements in both town and countryside. The human dynamics were key in this transformation process, in which the movement of people generated more fluid socio-political landscapes, not simply ones dominated by conflict and sense of insecurity. In this sense, recent landscape analyses, where refining sequences and trends of change are crucial, have been able to focus on issues of resilience as a determinant element in this process. While we can recognize the movement and settlement of groups of new incomers or or new conquerors around Europe and Mediterranean in this epoch, more emphasis should go on the underlying or native population, to ask of their resilience in this period of change, to see how they adapted their lives and places to a new reality and rulers, whether able to maintain different degrees of economic and settlement strategies

This session thus aims to explore the varied mosaic of responses to change in the Mediterranean basin in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (400 – 1000 AD) and to debate and compare different approaches to the evaluation and the meanings of landscape and settlement change in various macro- and micro- regional areas, in particular after key historical transitions, such as the end of Roman control in specific zones, the conquest by Arabs, and the imposition of new kingdoms.

How altered were human-environment interactions and settlement patterns when politico-military change occurred? What was the response of rural societies after macro-economic and political transformations and crises? Did the countryside suffer an immediate effect or can we see survivals and continuities in settlement, economics, social practice, etc.? Were changes also evident in the urbanscapes? And, above all, how well does the material record (finds, buildings, etc.) attest possible reconfigurations of space and people? These, as we will discuss in this session, are all essential questions for assessing cultural, environmental and settlement adaptations and impositions over this important timespan.

Landscape Archaeology in the Near East

Open Session

Michael Freikman

  • Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology, Ariel University

Linda Olsvig-Whittaker

  • German Protestant Institute of Archaeology in the Holy Land

Abstract: The Near East was among the first regions of the world extensively explored by archaeologists since the early 19th century. They studied, surveyed and excavated innumerable sites, among them the capital cities of the most influential empires of the Ancient Near East, great tells, spectacular monuments, and prehistoric settlements dated to the very dawn of the human civilization.

Today, thousands of scholars study the architecture, settlement planning and material culture of thousands of archaeological sites in the region. However, this exceptional richness of material under study that prevented many from looking beyond the borders of the cities until quite recently.

It is virtually impossible to fully assess the nature of a settlement without understanding its general setting in the landscape: the topography and geomorphology of the area round it, the network of the roads connecting it with its neighbors, visibility of its monuments, and many other aspects related to the features outside the archaeological site per se, but strongly related to its everyday life.

Landscape archaeology was developed in Europe; now it emerges in the Levant and Anatolia, where modern archaeology is being freed from the constraints of the traditional “Tell Archaeology”, resulting pioneering studies bringing new and surprising insights on the local archaeology.

This session is dedicated to the latest developments in the field of Landscape Archaeology in the   Ancient Near East, in the context of the themes of the LAC conference. We call for the scholars both within and outside the Near East (including Iran) to bring the results of their studies to the community of landscape archaeologists.

The subjects of discussions may include new technological methods which can be used for the study of ancient landscape (i.e., geoarchaeology, paleogeography), archaeo-ecological studies (e.g., paleoenvironment, resource use), influence of social and political factors on changes in the local landscape, religious beliefs, and state propaganda expressed though monuments and ecological systems, and other relevant issues under current investigation. 

We hope that presentations in this session will give a broad perspective on current work in Near Eastern Landscape Archaeology, to not only foster exchange of ideas, new methods of research, and lively discussion of the most recent developments in this field, but also to establish the basis for future scientific cooperation among the scholars from various fields of landscape archaeology in different countries.

Landscape Archaeology of Ancient Greece.

Open session

Marco V. García Quintela

José Pascual González

Abstract: Landscape archaeology has been based on prehistoric studies from the Neolithic onwards, or in areas with no other information, revealing itself as an extraordinarily useful tool for extracting information from a particularly difficult material record. In addition, technology has permitted extraordinary advances in the prospecting and interpretation of landscapes in a multitude of records. Until recently, classical archaeology has been far removed from landscape archaeology. Greek and Roman sites often feature complex stratigraphy covering several thousand years that requires considerable effort to understand. In addition, the humanist tradition is prone to a certain self-sufficiency. The result is a distancing between classical archaeology and landscape archaeology.

However, landscape archaeology is increasingly forming a part of classical studies. This can be seen in subjects such as land use, the identification of the place of peasants in society, the study of construction techniques, or the widespread use of prospecting. As a result, the political, social, or economic landscape of different places and periods is currently supported by the use of GIS tools. These tools make it possible to manage a large volume of data; they are accurate, and they are fast. In addition, they allow for the integration of sources of all kinds and origins, making it possible to reconstruct the ancient human and environmental landscape with the utmost reliability.

At the same time, historical topography is fundamental for an understanding of the ancient landscape, a subject for which literary sources are of little use. In this way, the cataloguing of topographical references from different periods (such as travellers' stories) makes it possible to study culture through its spatial dimension.

We highlight two methodological approaches from landscape archaeology referring to the Greek world.

On the one hand there is the territorial definition of the polis. It is a political community with a specific place in a space occupied by rural nuclei (demoi or komai), farms (oikia), towers and fortresses, rural sanctuaries and necropolises. The structuring and hierarchy between these settlements is best understood with the help of landscape archaeology.

On the other hand, there are literary studies with a "landscape” dimension. For example, it is interesting to note how the Periegesis of Pausanias has gone from being a guide for archaeologists to name some buildings, to becoming an expression of perceptions about a territory considered in religious terms. In the same way, the information of modern travellers has been revalued as a recreation of a literary landscape with romantic and imaginary components.

The session titled “Landscape Archaeologies in Ancient Greece” will therefore serve to highlight three aspects.

  1. To express the interest of landscape archaeology for the classical Greek world.
  2. To demonstrate the significant value for landscape archaeology of using literary references treated with a specific hermeneutic.
  3. To present advances in this field that are being developed from different approaches and perspectives.

The Living Riverscape: Human Adaptive Strategies and Land-Use in Fluvial and Alluvial Environments

Open session

Filippo Brandolini

  • Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra “Ardito Desio”, Università degli Studi di Milano

Nika Shilobod

Abstract: The fertile lands of fluvial and alluvial environments have played a central role throughout the course of human history. The geomorphological settings of fluvial environments have influenced a wide range of settlement, management, and resilience strategies from prehistory through the present day. Environmental and socio-cultural factors are usually the drivers of these changes and are represented at a variety of scales. For example, water and land management strategies as well as land reclamation activities have altered many fluvial landscapes’ natural states to create cultivable land and to mitigate the effects of flooding events. The modern ‘Riverscape,’ therefore can be considered an example of a great archaeological monument, consisting of palimpsests of natural and anthropogenic landforms. Direct and indirect past anthropogenic changes to fluvial landscapes combined with the dynamic nature of these environments present many new challenges for modern society. 

Debates around the future sustainability of human occupation within alluvial environments is still ongoing. Rapidly rising sea levels and the increased frequency of natural disasters present a number of important considerations for future planning, especially regarding concepts related to historical and prehistorical land changes. These issues include land degradation and risks associated with soil erosion, the changing uses of land and their associated impacts, resilience and adaptation strategies towards environmental changes, and the impact of past human activities on current environmental and ecosystem health and water quality. Compounding these factors is an idea known as the ‘levee effect,’ in which past and current mitigation strategies and protections from regular flooding reduces perceptions of risk and encourages inappropriate developments in alluvial floodplains. For planning future sustainable development worldwide, it is essential to understand the effects of Holocene anthropogenic land and water management practices on fluvial landscapes. For these future strategies to be effective, they require developing sustainable resource management practises in collaboration with the local communities (e.g. through citizen science and public archaeology).

This session aims to gather studies from different geographic, archaeological and chronological contexts, focusing on: a. The reconstruction of Holocene anthropogenic control over land and water management strategies; b. The assessment of the impact of human actions on the natural fluvial landscape evolution; and c. Human resilience to changes in fluvial and alluvial environments. We welcome all contributions from a variety of disciplines to start a conversation of the complex interplay between humans and their fluvial and alluvial environments. At the end of the conference, contributors will be invited to publish their papers in a dedicated Special Issue of a peer-reviewed international scientific journal.

Advances in archaeological survey

Open Session

Hector A. Orengo

Thomas P. Leppard

Elif Koparal

  • Department of Archaeology, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University

Toby C. Wilkinson,

  • McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge

Arnau Garcia-Molsosa,

  • McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge

Merkourios Georgiadis

  • Catalan Institute of Classical Archaeology.

Athanasia Krahtopoulou,

  • Ephorate of Antiquities of Karditsa.

Josep M. Palet,

  • Catalan Institute of Classical Archaeology

Abstract: Pedestrian archaeological survey has a long archaeological pedigree and, in different forms, has been applied since the beginnings of the discipline. With the integration of quantitative methods in the late 70s pedestrian survey became a more efficient tool capable of providing dimensions of information beyond the basic location and chronology of archaeological sites. Systematic pedestrian surveys have had a large influence in landscape archaeology, providing a constant source of theoretical and methodological developments. From the very definition of archaeological ‘site’ in relation to concentrations of material culture to concerns involving occupation density and continuous landscape use, survey data has underpinned evolving  discussions on the nature and focus of landscape archaeology.

However, archaeological survey has also weathered criticism (Bowden et al. 1991, Hope-Simpson 1983, 1984, Prag 1984) linked to the subjective and circumstantial nature of the data it provides, (which cannot provide a direct proxy for human occupation, landscape use or socio-economical orientation), the lack of a comparative frame for survey data, and the intensive long-term requirements of survey data acquisition and analysis.

While archaeological excavation is assumed to be as comprehensive as possible, compromise (including sampling compromise) stands at the core of archaeological survey. Although it has long been recognised that individual items of material culture form the minimal unit of archaeological survey (Thomas 1972, 1975, Foley 1977, 1981a, 1981b), different types of spatial or numerical sub-sampling are used in all but the smallest surveys. Although necessary, sampling is an important factor in some of the previously exposed problems such as the lack of comparability between surveys. While total count or more intensive survey strategies could alleviate some of these problems, they will render more acute other intrinsic limitations, including logistical. In addition to sampling problems, postpositional and geomorphological processes, problems of access, vegetation and land-use all impinge on surface visibility and further complicate the use and comparability of survey data.

This session aims to showcase new methodological research on archaeological survey addressing previous issues, providing new avenues for its application and analysis or examining its impact or influence in landscape archaeology. Preferred contributions will address one or several of the following topics:

  • New survey methods
  • Survey quantification, sampling strategy and standardisation.
  • Design and practicalities of archaeological survey.
  • Types of survey and objective-based survey.
  • Theoretical developments.
  • Adaptation to varied environmental settings.
  • Use of complementary techniques (geophysics, remote sensing, geomorphology and so on).

Archaeological site detection with machine learning and other computational approaches.

Open Session

Hector A. Orengo

  • Catalan Institute of Classical Archaeology

Arnau Garcia-Molsosa,

  • McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge.

Francesc C. Conesa,

  • McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge.

Cameron A. Petrie,

  • Trinity College, University of Cambridge

Abstract: Although machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL)-related methods have been in use for several decades, they have been applied to archaeological problems only recently. Some early implementations focussed on the classification, seriation and analysis of material culture, such as artistic representations (Barceló 1995a and 1995b, Di Ludovico and Ramazzotti 2005), use-wear of prehistoric tools (Van den Dries 1998), historical glass artifacts and ancient coins (Van der Maaten et al. 2007). The application of ML and DL in archaeology has experienced a strong turn towards the detection of archaeological sites during the last years (but see Wright and Gattiglia 2018 for the identification of ceramic fragments and Oonk and Spijker 2015 for geochemical analysis). Since the pioneering work of Menze and Ur (2012), the wider availability of data (in particular multispectral satellite data and high-resolution lidar), cloud computing platforms and ready-made AI tools and code have boosted ML and DL site-based detection (e.g. Lisset al. 2017, Trier et al. 2019, Verschoof-van der Vaart and Lambers 2019, Orengo and Garcia-Molsosa 2019).

These have facilitated an important increase of new AI-based and computational methods for the detection and analysis of archaeological sites and features. However, many of these methods provide satisfactory results that are largely contingent upon specific cultural and environmental and geopolitical circumstances. Lidar data has been a privileged source for deep learning Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN) and Object-Based Image Analysis (OBIA) whereas machine learning approaches such as Random Forest, CART and SVM tend to focus on pixels’ spectral values rather than their clustered spatial properties and therefore they usually focus on multispectral data. This has limited not just the type of sites to which each approach has been addressed but also the geographic areas in which these methods are applied.

This session aims to provide an overview of current approaches to automated site detection using computational methods and a diversity of sources. Preferred topics include:

  • New data sources and the particularities of their application to specific site types.
  • Big-data, data cleaning, data ingestion, data fusion, multitemporal data and multi-source composites and how they improve the reliability of the analysis.
  • Applications of machine learning and deep learning to archaeological site detection. In particular the use of particular classifiers and their performance.
  • Best practices and procedures in relation to particular applications.
  • Algorithm, programming language, API selection and performance comparison and evaluation.
  • Development of computational cost-effective workflows and the implementation of high-performance computing.
  • Other computational approaches to archaeological site detection such as predictive modelling, and the use of spectral signatures.

Geoarchaeology and human eco-dynamics in Palaeolithic landscapes

Open Session

María de Andrés-Herrero

Luis Luque-Ripoll

Manuel Alcaraz-Castaño

Abstract: Multidisciplinary research is essential for gaining a sound knowledge of human behaviors in past landscapes. The combination of different geoarchaeological and spatial approaches, including geomorphology, sedimentology, stratigraphy, dating, palaeoenvironment, site catchment analysis, least cost paths, or predictive modeling –among others– has proved to be a fundamental aspect for investigating key issues in the Paleolithic field. These issues include the discovery of new sites and rock art locations, the study of human-environment interactions through the landscape or the investigation of population dynamics in Pleistocene changing environments. In this context, geoarchaeology is an essential bridge for linking the reconstruction of Palaeolithic landscapes with archaeological data. The application of a wide range of field and laboratory analyses to disentangled Pleistocene archaeological deposits enables us to address problems ranging from the site microscale to the wider geographical and environmental framework. Site formation and post-depositional processes, as well as site distribution, are closely linked to the physical, biological and climatic features of landscapes, as well as to their geological substrate and dynamics. Hence, both geoarchaeological and spatial analysis are key methods to understand these processes.

The aim of this session is bringing together researchers working on geoarchaeological and spatial analyses to have a better understanding of the different uses of landscapes by humans during the Palaeolithic. In this sense, combining the analysis of time, space and environment of different landscapes with the study of Palaeolithic cultural adaptations and human behaviors arises as a fundamental tool for solving main questions in Quaternary research and human evolution. These questions include, but are not limited to, topics such as:

  • The impact of site accessibility or raw material location on human behaviors.
  • The impact of hydrological and marine events for site location and distribution.
  • The connections between changes in landforms and/or vegetation cover to settlement patterns, land use and subsistence strategies.
  • The connections between ecological variability and population dynamics.
  • The impact of geological extreme events in site formation and preservation.

Contributions on these and other related topics will be welcome and fruitfully discussed.

Ritual practices and movement in the landscape

Open Session

Ignasi Grau Mira

  • Instituto de Arqueología y Patrimonio Histórico, Universidad de Alicante.

Carmen Rueda Galán

  • Instituto Univ. de investigación en Arqueología Ibérica, Universidad de Jaén

Juan Pedro Bellón Ruiz

  • Instituto Univ. de investigación en Arqueología Ibérica, Universidad de Jaén

Abstract: The archaeological study of movement in the landscape is a fundamental aspect to understand the interrelation of people and places in the configuration and use of space. The issue has been addressed taking into account from physical expressions, in the form of roads or infrastructures, to the modelling of cost and travel times through GIS. Most of the studies of movement has been analysed from their functional aspects and everyday practices. However, as T. Earl points out “Human groups build landscapes by everyday use and ceremonial activities” and it is specifically the second aspect of movement in which we are interested.

The proposed session is oriented to the archaeological approach to sacred landscapes and the ritual mobility in Prehistory, Protohistory and most broadly in Pre-modern societies. Taking into account the scarcity of analysis focused on ritual mobility from an archaeological perspective and the abuse of historical explanations especially exported from the Classical Archaeology, we propose a session that incorporates an archaeological and methodological focus to the debate. Our aim is contribute to enlarge the theoretical and conceptual framework for the analysis of symbolic landscapes and ritual mobility.

Analysis of mobility, as a social activity, allows us to approach diverse aspects, not exclusively of an economic or subsistence nature, which implies dynamic and multidimensional situations (Fábrega-Álvarez, 2016). The practices related to the movement allow inferring about identity, territorial adscription and, of course, symbolic-ideological aspects (Murrieta-Flores et al., 2012).

From this broader and more inclusive perspective, ritual mobility has an analytical archaeological footprint as the result of complex spatial relationships between symbolic practices and perception and use of landscapes. In this way, we are interested in different aspects of movement, for instance A) mobility patterns in the construction of collective identity and social relations; B) the use of space at different scales, subject to different ritual motivations, or C) the symbolic, mnemonic, psychological and sensory aspect of movement from the archaeological analysis (Hamilakis, 2017).

The Specific objectives of this session are:

  • Approach the ritual behavior involved in the movement.
  • Explore the materiality of ritual mobility.
  • Analyze the different strategies of symbolic configuration of the landscape with regard to movement.
  • Inquire about multisensory in the past, also through movement.
  • Focus on the social nature of mobility practices, incorporating variables to the analysis such as mobility and social cohesion; mobility and childhood; mobility motivations; social cycles defined by mobility, etc.
  • From the methodological point of view, discuss methodological analysis at territorial level, which incorporate geospatial techniques (GISc, photointerpretation, LIDAR...) to analyze routes and ritual movements in the landscape.
  • Present archaeological case-studies at different spatial scales.

Multi-disciplinary approaches to investigating hidden, transient and intangible landscapes

Open Session

Helen Winton

  • Historic England

Krystyna Truscoe

  • University of Reading

Katy Whitaker

  • University of Reading

Abstract: This session will explore and discuss different concepts of hidden archaeological landscapes. These include concealed or misunderstood physical evidence as well as landscapes which survive only in other ways such as through memory or in documentary evidence.  The former might be discovered using archaeological prospection and the latter might emerge from ethnographic studies, an assessment of archives, or other evidence. We encourage all participants to consider new concepts or ways of thinking about landscape.

Definition of themes:

  • Hidden landscapes: These include physical remains under the ground or unrecognised surface features but also landscapes only defined or given meaning by the perceptions of different groups or associations with particular events.
  • Transient landscapes: These can be the products of activities that now appear to have been transient, mobile or conceptual in nature. These activities include: traditions such as transhumance or seasonal dwelling; features associated with short-lived events such as military installations or festivals; and evidence that suggests wider social or political concepts of landscape such as later prehistoric linear boundaries.
  • Intangible landscapes: These are not just expressed in the physical world but can also be created by a variety of influences, such as the spiritual, literary, artistic, or political importance of a particular location.

Objectives: Our main objective is to draw together people from different disciplines who take a variety of approaches to the study of landscape. We aim to highlight the variety inherent in the concept of hidden, transient or intangible landscapes. We welcome contributions from researchers using either established or new techniques to analyse physical archaeological remains and from those using ethnographic or documentary sources to examine different aspects of past use, movement through and meaning of landscapes.

Outcomes: We wish to stimulate new thinking on the intangible, abstract and transient aspects of landscapes. By inviting contributions from researchers who use different and innovative methods we hope to encourage a multi-disciplinary approach to their study and to reach a better understanding of the potential of studying hidden archaeological landscapes.

Rethinking Mountain Environments through Bioarchaeological approaches

Open session

 Lídia Colominas

  • Institut Catală d’arqueologia Clăssica

Marta Moreno-García

  • Instituto de Historia, CSIC

Leonor Peña-Chocarro

  • Instituto de Historia, CSIC

 Abstract: Growing interest in the occupation and exploitation of mountains has shown that human impact was intense and that these areas constitute true cultural landscapes shaped over time. At the same time, the archaeology of the last ten years has seen significant developments in areas related to Bioarchaeology and Palaeoenvironmental Sciences, with the application of innovative techniques such as aDNA, geometric morphometrics or isotopic or lipid analyses. Therefore, at present, there is a novel bioarchaeological dataset that have the potential to yield significant information about the past use of mountain areas, allowing us to rethink our understanding of human, animal and landscape interactions in these sensitive environments over time. Currently, archaeozoological and archaeobotanical approaches integrated in interdisciplinary projects are taking important steps forward in the study of major issues concerned with mountain archaeology, such as the characterization of agro-pastoral activities, the reconstruction of landscape or the adaptation of humans to mountain areas.

 With this session we aim to illustrate how these bioarchaeological approaches enrich and expand the knowledge about mountain environments, leaving old assumptions behind. These new approaches are also essential in highlighting the complexity of most of the human activities practiced in the mountains and their connections with the lowlands.

In this session, contributions dealing with the following topics will be welcome:

  • Large-scale and micro-regional reconstructions of landscape changes.
  • Animal diet, mobility and transhumance.
  • Mountain agricultural practices.
  • Permanent versus short term mountain occupations.
  • Landscape exploitation and mountain economies.
  • Archaeozoological and archaeobotanical approaches integrated in interdisciplinary investigations will be especially encouraged.

 This session aims to involve colleagues working in mountain ranges, dealing with all types of biotic materials from Neolithic to present in order to share knowledge, methodologies and theoretical frameworks. The multidisciplinary approach of the session will allow us to gain insights on how humans, animals and the environment interacted in the past in high-mountain areas and how they should work together in the present and future as a way to preserve these rich and sensitive landscapes. These data is essential to understand pastoral landscape development and variations in landscape resilience through history.

Ancient mobility and migration through the lens of space syntax and landscape studies: potentialities and drawbacks

Open session

Silvia Gómez Senovilla.

  • ÖAW-OREA Institute

Moisés Hernández Cordero.

  • ÖAW-IKant Institute

Abstract: Is it possible to trace mobility in past human groups by studying the landscape and the built environment? Landscape studies and space syntax have been broadly employed by urbanists in order to study the dynamics of movement and mobility in modern cities and their hinterland. Significant uses of such techniques have been applied in archaeology with success, as in the study of the permeability of networks and pathways (space syntax software such as Deptmap) or in the reconstruction of prehistoric landscapes (viewshed or movement analyses in GIS). These methods, by analysing variables such as connectivity, integration, visibility or choice in built and non-built environments can help to reconstruct processes of urbanization, settlement, and abandonment.

Such methods cannot  ̶ and should not be expected to ̶  offer fixed answers for the myriad of questions that prompt when studying dynamics of movement and migration phenomena in antiquity. Agency, the capacity of human beings to constantly influence their own decision-making despite social or cultural constraints, is an important part of ancient population dynamics and must be taken into consideration. What can landscape studies offer, then, in order to answer critical issues like motivations, type, and scale of migrations, or short- and long-term consequences of population movements? Is it possible to see the landscape not just as a product of human decision but also as a catalyst for particular behaviours and dynamics? Quantitative methods can provide essential aid in the creation of new historical narratives of migration, much in need in the light of current political events. This session will help in bringing together scholars interested in the application of quantitative methods as devices that can enrich our interpretations of human mobility at a micro- (settlement) but also at a macro-scale (hinterland). Such methods can question traditional culture-historical assumptions of the use of space, offering new approaches for the study of processes of migration and population movements.

We welcome contributions covering all periods, from Prehistory to the present, that deal with landscape and urban syntax to unveil population dynamics, as well as papers contemplating the challenges and difficulties that such methods can present when trying to create a valid and ethical historical discourse.

Archaeological Landscapes and Agenda 2030

Open session

Alicia Castillo Mena

  • Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Alexandra Chavarría Arnau

José María Civantos

  • Universidad de Granada

Rodrigo Ruiz Rubio

  • Ministerio de Cultura. Gobierno del Perú

Abstract: The archaeology of historical landscapes has a long-standing presence in the European context. For the last decades, new perspectives are opening up in this field due to the adoption of social knowledge which are not only useful for understanding ancient landscapes, but also how these landscapes meet the current times as well as contemporary needs. Public and community archaeology and participatory research help us in approaching socioeconomic problems which demand transdisciplinarity and complex thinking. 

This conference constitutes an opportunity to connect with public policies dealing with fields beyond that of culture. The Agenda 2030 has become a reference document for global solutions adopted from the local, where culture and closely-related sciences such as archaeology have not been regarded as a critical goal. Whether we disagree with this fact or not, human and social sciences put forward a cross-curricular view of SDGs. This view represent an opportunity to discuss about what we can do in archaeological landscapes to contribute to those Goals defined by the United Nations. Archaeology of landscape can help in reflecting on different aspects and elements such as climate change, sustainability of productive processes and uses of territories, heritage education, and culture-like topics but also archaeology can help in understanding economics and society through all social stages, issues of genre or fight against inequalities, and management of cultural heritage in urban contexts. 

This session is an opportunity to debate and define indicators and/or references to be used for any of the Goals and from the perspective of the archaeology of landscape. 

We call for experiences in urban or rural landscapes working on these issues.

Coastal and intertidal archaeology in natural protected and natural sensitive landscapes: methods, challenges and opportunities

Open session

Elías López-Romero

  • Dep. de Prehistoria, Historia Antigua y Arqueología, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Camila Gianotti

  • Lab. de Arqueología del Paisaje y Patrimonio, Centro Universitario Regional Este, Universidad de la República

Marie-Yvane Daire

  • CNRS (UMR6566) Centre de Recherche en Archéologie, Archéosciences, Histoire

Tom Dawson

  • School of History, University of St Andrews 

Abstract: Recent approaches to coastal and intertidal archaeology have focused on issues of methodology, multi-proxy approaches to the study of societies and palaeoenvironments, preservation of archaeological remains, coastal erosion, climate change, social engagement and 'public science' initiatives. All these approaches have served to show the specificities of coastal and intertidal archaeology across the globe. Resulting from these experiences, one underlying -albeit crucial- debate concerns the relationship between the natural and the cultural spheres. In this session, we would like to go a step further and deepen the discussion on this relationship. Is there a real natural heritage vs. cultural heritage dichotomy? How can we improve the visibility and impact of coastal archaeological research and management in the frame of Integrated Coastal Zone Management policies and climate change directives (e.g. IPCC panel)? How can we improve the dialogue between archaeologists/cultural heritage specialists and the natural management of coastal protected areas and landscapes? What problems do we archaeologists encounter when working in natural protected areas and how can we overcome them? What do we have to offer to natural areas' managers and stakeholders? We welcome papers from across the world on the experiences, methods, challenges and opportunities of coastal and intertidal archaeology in natural protected and natural sensitive landscapes (e.g. National/Regional Parks, reserves, nature protected sites and landscapes). Presentations on marshes, mangroves and submerged archaeological sites and landscapes dealing with this topic are also welcome. Through this, we would like to contribute to current debates on coastal and intertidal archaeology and, by extension, on an extended notion of heritage.

Settlement mound morphology and landscape

Open Session

Dagmar Fritzsch

  • Institute of Physical Geography, Goethe-University Frankfurt

Astrid Röpke

  • Archäobotanik Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte, Universität zu Köln

Abstract: This session focuses on the potential of archaeosediments in settlement mound sites (Tell, Kom, etc.) to reconstruct the palaeoenvironmental natural settings (geo-biotopes and biocenosis), resource areas and subsistence strategies.

Settlements mounds are composed of several functional units such as houses, stables, streets, open spaces and enclosures. Studying archaeosediments in these different activity areas offers the opportunity to analyse the chronological and spatial development as well as the economic and social organization. But they also provide important information on the surrounding landscape and its use. Signals from “outside” the settlement such as botanical and faunal residues, stone artefacts, etc. are hidden in the domestic waste, in production and dumping areas as well as in the construction material (bricks, floors, walls, etc.).

In order to better understand the linkage between settlement and landscape, we invite scientists from different disciplines such as geoarchaeology, micromorphology, bioarchaeology, archaeobotany, archaeozoology and archaeology to participate in our session.

Contribution is welcome on a range of topics and case studies concerning settlement mounds including:

  • Where does the construction material come from (local and/or regional)?
  • Which palaeoenvironmental information do archaeosediments provide on a microscopic level?
  • What kind of subsistence strategy can be proposed?
  • Is it possible to recognize changes in space and time?

Data, Assumptions, and Demonstrations. A Dialogue between 3D-GIS, Modelling and Remote Sensing in Strategic Landscape Research.

Open session

María del Mar Castro García

  • University of Siena

Daniel J. Martín-Arroyo Sánchez

  • University of Barcelona

Antonio J. Ortiz Villarejo

  • University of Jaén

 Abstract: Territorial studies have traditionally focused on archaeological sites and their immediate surroundings. However, other archaeological approaches consider the historical landscape as a continuum, including spaces between sites, known as “Empty Spaces”. This perspective is essential in understanding how the archaeological record reveals the landscape complexity in the social, economic and environmental context. This context involves field systems, communication and trade networks, and artisanal agricultural foci, in addition to domestic and civic settlements.

The increase of spatial scales is a challenge for researchers because they have to confront with a large amount of data from more dispersed and less defined archaeological evidences. Currently, technological advances and an entirely new range of data sources have created unprecedented opportunities. The newest computational sciences and remote sensing techniques enable the integration of information across progressively larger areas of open landscapes. However, the management of these technologies and data, necessitates highly qualified and time-consuming work from the investigators. Consequently, the available time to formulate hypotheses and design research strategies is reduced.

The combination of new techniques to implement research strategies is proposed here as a methodological approach to carry out archaeological landscape studies. A dialogue between 3D-GIS, modelling, and remote sensing is initiated in this session in order to design research strategies. Firstly, we will discuss the management of geographical and archaeological databases, and their visualization through 3D-GIS. Secondly, we propose modelling as a technique to predict settlement patterns and to test the logic of our assumptions. Finally, the remote sensing at the large scale is an optimal approach to investigate the space as a whole, or to demonstrate or refute our hypotheses by surveying selected zones.

This session aims to promote a dialogue amongst researchers who are applying any kind of 3D-GIS, modelling, or remote sensing techniques. They are welcome to present their case studies, theoretical frameworks, methodological strategies, problems, and challenges, in all historical landscape realities in any chronological context. The main objective is to create a useful methodological debate, trying to resolve particular problems, and to suggest new opportunities of collaboration between researchers in the future.

Digital Landscapes: Re-Visited Epistemologies in Key of Paleo-Landscapes Phenomenology

Open Session

Alfredo Maximiano Castillejo.

He is currently visiting Professor at UFPEL (Brazil); Degree in History (UGR; Spain) in 2001; PhD (UAB; Spain) in 2008. Specialist in Spatial Analysis (Geostatistics, KDD) and geocomputational resources applied to Archeology. Teaching and scientific activity oriented to application and advances of synergies between TIGs and archaeological contexts of groups (prehistoric and historical) with high mobility.

Mercedes Farjas Abadía

She is Professor at the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM) since 1995. Technical Engineer in Surveying, Senior Engineer in Geodesy and Cartography and PhD in Educational Sciences. She currently teaches in New technologies, Laser Scanning Systems and 3D Modeling, a field to which she has directed her research tasks. She is an expert in cartographic documentation technologies especially applied to the field of Archeology.

Jesús Jordá Pardo

He is Professor in the Department of Prehistory and Archeology UNED (Spain) since 2009. Bachelor in Geological Sciences from the University of Salamanca (Spain) in 1982 and PhD in Geological Sciences from that same University in 1992. Specialist in Geoarchaeology, Quaternary Geology and Archeomalacology. He has coordinate systematic archaeological digs in several prehistoric sites at Iberian Peninsula and also, he is the main author of geo-archaeological studies in about thirty archaeological sites from the Lower Paleolithic to the Middle Ages.

Abstract: In the current landscapes archaeologies geospatial techniques are an established and widely developed operation with a clear purpose: Represent and model determinates variables that could articulate the landscape in the past.

The confluence between data capture devices (i.e. LiDAR, photogrammetry, scanner), data store management in GIS platform, and modeling virtual environments by software 2.5D provide a digital technique that empowers the idea of establishing sets of analitical models of almost any type of approach between palaeo-landscape and human groups that inhabited it.

Beside that, sets of rational spatial (and temporal) categories and variables are substantiated from our present, questionable for the social and historical implications of those groups that produced / consumed and abandoned theirs landscapes. In this way, we generate extensive outputs completely oriented towards the visualization of lacking or very low level scenarios in key of the standards of TICs and TIGs, where statistical tests are usually underestimated and all evidences are based on a powerful graphic output.

We face with this position and supported by the advances produced both, methodology and archaeological thinking, we question spatial concepts to use under the archetypes like: optimal routes, clusters, visibility, distance ... of which a review and reflection on their meaning can be made about the possible articulations of the Paleo-landscape and the historical groups that managed space. On the contrary, developing aspects of spatial semantics in terms of inclusiveness, accessibility, concurrence, adjacency, succession ... are clearly topological scenarios, and probably more diffuse than the previous one but with a robust traceability about the spatial phenomenon and its social implications.

We believe this approach establishes a greater congruence between digital resources and the partial nature of data and levels of information accessible from Paleo-landscapes, which generates new scenarios for solving inherent problems about perception, attribution, analysis and interpretability of space.

This session is delighted in proposals of cases studies where a series of topics are explored or where the described topic might go into discussion, for example:

  1. From shapes to GeodataBase: attribution, location and topology as a source of description and analysis of spatial processes
  2. Geomatic techniques that integrate the temporal variability of spatial phenomena.
  3. Steps forward around 2.5D visualization and high data resolution: Numerical simulation processes, other ways of representing the spatial-temporal variability implicit in the Paleo-landscape, ...
  4. Consistent workflows from data capture to spatiotemporal interpretation of social process

Surface, soils, flora, fauna, and pots & pans: reconstructing mobility and settlement in the pre- Industrial era

Open session

Jan-Paul Crielaard

  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Sjoerd Kluiving

  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Lou Godefroy

  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Taariq Sheik

  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Xenia Charalambidou

  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Abstract: During the 8th-6th centuries BC Greek colonists settled along the shores of the Mediterranean. But did they operate on their own or were they dependent on local knowledge and networks? The ‘Melting Pot’-project aims to debate the character of the Greek colonization in southern Italy and the role of local peoples. It focuses on the earliest years of settlement and on the most basic elements in the life of the colonies’ inhabitants, namely agricultural practices, land-use, and the production of pots, pans and jars for domestic use and storage. Science-based research methods are employed to analyze and compare how farming and craft production were organized in the Greek motherland, in the indigenous milieu in Italy, and in the colonies themselves. In this way it is possible to define to what extent colonial communities imported knowledge of agricultural systems and craft production, or adopted or adapted autochthonous methods. This can be used as a proxy for the influx of new people and ideas, and for transformations of local and migrant societies. The ‘Melting Pot’-project provides a new perspective on an early phase of globalization, founded on three cornerstones: new theoretical insights; trans-disciplinary synergy of geoarchaeology, bioarchaeology, landscape-modelling and scientific analyses of ancient craft-products; and international scholarly collaboration.

We invite individual scholars or research groups to present in this session their research on mobility and settlement, within and beyond the Mediterranean. We welcome papers that use geoarchaeological approaches to explore past landscape evolution, geomorphological processes, human impact and system response, addressing such issues as landscape resilience and human adaptation in the pre-industrial era. We also welcome papers on human niche construction that examine how humans change their environment, and how subsequent environmental changes alter societal functioning.

The organisers encourage presentations involving empirical data collection as well as approaches based on modelling. Understanding human responses at both individual and societal levels is of paramount importance to this session. Key questions are: 

  1. Can we identify decision-making process of mobile populations in the selection of localities to settle?
  2. Is there a selection of familiar landscapes by migrants? And how do migrants adapt to unfamiliar landscapes?
  3. Do we see changes in technology to exploit the landscape and resources for fulfilling basic needs (e.g. for pot making or house construction)?
  4. Can we make a distinction between colonization and assimilation in the landscape archaeological record?
  5. How have humans responded to past environmental change, and how did landscapes evolve to anthropogenic change (e.g. the introduction of water harvesting technologies or the introduction of agricultural innovations and new techniques)?
  6. Can we find empirical evidence (e.g. historical or archaeological sources) for co-evolving social/economic arrangements which allow us to consider landscapes as environmental systems?

These and other questions need interdisciplinary approaches, e.g. social-science methods to assess how communities/societies create and respond to environmental change, or methods that integrate environmental and cultural evidence to reflect on decision making processes, or investigate the social and ecological impacts of human mobility into both pre-settled and virgin landscapes.

The Christianization of Landscape in the Medieval North

Open Session

Stefka G. Eriksen

  • Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research

Abstract: The main aim of this session is to discuss how attitudes to use of landscape have changed with big cultural transformations in the past. This discussion allows us to take one step back from the main approach to current environmental changes (namely: how can we change our culture and society to adapt to the environmental changes in a sustainable way?) and ask instead: how is attitude to and use of the environment (and especially the landscape) formed by cultural and social transformations? Such a historical long-term perspective can give us new insight into the roots of our thinking about our place in the environment and help us make our adaptive solutions today more salient.

The session is based on a proposed research project ‘CLEMENT: the Christianization of Landscape in the Medieval North’, aiming to address these questions based on the cultural contexts of medieval Norway and Iceland. These contexts have always been on the fringe of inhabitable land, with a rough climate, intensive mixed economy with agriculture, hunting and fishing, and huge natural resources, including timber. Parts of the period that will be discussed here coincided with the Little Ice Age, which had grave implications on the environment, survival strategies and sustainability. The greatest cultural transformation of this period was the Christianization of both contexts about the year 1000, which can not be separated from increased trade and urbanization (most relevant for Norway) and the centralization of secular power. The various papers in this session will discuss the link between changes in attitudes and uses of landscape and these cultural transformations. The session as a whole will deploy various sources, such as archeology, documents and literature and we will thus collectively discuss parallels and discrepancies between the sources with regard to the set questions. The session will comprise of five papers and aims to collectively address the following of the main themes of the conference:

  • Multidisciplinary in landscape research;
  • Mobility, settlement and resilience: human dynamics in landscape;
  • Landscapes of Memory
  • Climate change, Anthropocene and environmental shock: the landscape as a tool to analyse the transformations of the past and the future

Understanding Environments and Lifestyle during Roman Times Throughout Multidisciplinary Studies

Open session

Lourdes López-Merino

Olalla López-Costas

Noemí Silva-Sánchez

Abstract: The Roman period resulted in intense impact on the landscape and people’s lifestyle. Therefore, this legacy is key to understanding the current landscapes and lifestyle of Romanised regions. Combined with the body of information preserved as textual sources,  bioarchaeology and landscape archaeology offer fascinating multidisciplinary approaches to better understanding landscapes and lifestyles during Roman times.

This open session is designed to transcend disciplinary studies to reach an integrative vision of Roman landscapes and lifestyle of the inhabitants of such regions in Europe and North Africa. Landscape archaeology offers the possibility to reconstruct environments and environmental change, whether natural- or human- induced. In addition, bioarchaeological approaches provides a wider perspective on the impact that lifestyle had on the landscape and vice versa. We welcome multidisciplinary approaches combining historical research with landscape archaeology and bioarchaeology approaches to build an integrative story of the human-environmental interactions during Roman times.

The types of questions this session will address are: do historical texts, landscape archaeology and bioarchaeology findings share a common narrative? Do the latter fill important knowledge gaps left by the former? The contributions will consider topics within the two overarching themes of landscape and lifestyle:

  • Migrations (human and animal).
  • Impact of mining and metallurgy.
  • Palaeodiet, health and pestilences.
  • Landscape, environmental and climate change.
  • Agriculture and livestock strategies.
  • Regional comparisons: Atlantic vs. Mediterranean; Western vs. Eastern Roman Empire; North vs. South.

New Approaches to Ancient Egyptian Funerary Landscapes (from the Old Kingdom to the Late Period)

Closed session

Ángeles Jiménez-Higueras

  • Centre for Human and Social Sciences, Spanish National Research Council (CCHS-CSIC)

Abstract: In the study of ancient Egyptian necropoleis, the archaeological investigation of the ancient landscape has been frequently neglected or only vaguely taken into consideration. Modern scholarship has mainly focused on specific areas or single tombs, while little attention has been paid to the landscape of spatial organisation of the tombs. In order to accomplish a complete study of a necropolis, it is crucial to draw attention to the aspect of the necropolis as a whole, in which funerary monuments and processional ways are interconnected with the topographical and geographical landscape, as well as with political, religious and cultural factors.

It is time to narrow the distance between Egyptology, as a discipline traditionally reluctant to adopt approaches based on new technologies, and the new techniques and theories used by the world of archaeology. Landscape archaeology, which efficiently manages to compile and to link prosopographical-genealogical, archaeological and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) data, has filled this gap. Thanks to the most recent works that adapt a theoretical approach indebted to the landscape archaeology, the Egyptian archaeology applied to funerary landscapes has moved into a new direction. As a result, the advantages of this type of research offer a holistic conception of funerary landscapes by bringing together textual and archaeological perspectives.

A multidisciplinary approach in Egyptian Funerary Landscapes will open up new lines of research into the wider landscape of the necropoleis, offering new insights into previous ways of understanding the building of the tombs, the construction and planning of the necropoleis, and the shaping of their sacred landscape. This model allows us to study the tombs in detail but also to integrate the sacred landscape of the necropoleis. In doing so, the potential of this approach could broaden horizons in Egyptology, thus introducing new analytical techniques and theories within the traditional methods of investigation.

The Archaeology of rural landscapes and Agri-Tech: synergies and challenges.

Open session

Rachel Opitz

  • University of Glasgow

Victorino Mayoral Herrera

  • Merida Institute of Archaeology (CSIC-Government of Extremadura)

Philippe De Smedt

  • Department of Environment, Ghent University

Abstract: Modern archaeological prospection, which generates the data that underpins much of our archaeological understanding of past rural landscapes, emerged over the 20th century, with aerial photography becoming increasingly common from the 1940s and a range of geophysical methods together with more sophisticated techniques for spatial analysis and systematic fieldwalking developing from the 1970s-1990s. The 2000s-present have been marked by the emergence of large-area geophysics, increased spatial detail across many sensors, and improvements in the use of positioning systems and GIS. The progressive development of survey methods emerged in parallel with the development and spread of highly mechanized agriculture, particularly from the 1940s-1980s. Since the 2000s, growing concerns over environmental impacts of long term mechanized agriculture, together with improvements in geospatial technologies and sensors have led to the emergence of Precision Agriculture. Due to the continually expanding application of high resolution sensing technologies (including geochemical, geophysical and spectral observations), Precision Agriculture is positioned to fundamentally change the way in which rural landscapes are managed.

Resulting data, collected at various spatial and temporal scales, represent an opportunity and a challenge for archaeologists on two fronts. First, much of the data collected is potentially of interest to archaeologists studying past land use, but is significantly different in character from current archaeological prospection data and may require new approaches to its analysis and interpretation. Second,  developing data sharing schemes with farmers and other parties working with PA presents an opportunity to develop new relationships and to promote a positive shared agenda, but also presents significant social and policy challenges.

This session therefore explores opportunities and challenges for archaeological prospection presented by changes in agricultural practice in farmed landscapes. We welcome invites contributions that explore the relationships between changing agricultural practices, particularly precision agriculture, and possibilities for and constraints on archaeological prospection. It asks: How might changes in agricultural practices influence the character and legibility of archaeologically relevant proxies? How can archaeological prospection be adapted in response to contemporary agricultural practices? What opportunities are presented by changing policies and attitudes around agriculture, natural conservation, and rural communities to develop mutually advantageous connections between archaeological and agricultural communities, based on shared interests in the past and contemporary character of farmed landscapes?

This session welcomes papers on:

  • Technological and methodological advances, challenges, and principles related to the integration of archaeological prospection and precision agriculture
  • Social and policy opportunities, challenges, and principles related to the integration of archaeological prospection and precision agriculture
  • Fusion of precision agriculture & archaeology methods as a strategy for the protection and management of archaeological heritage within areas of intensive agricultural activity.

Contributions may include completed case studies, work in progress, or early stage conceptual plans. The session will conclude with a roundtable discussion, focused on future research directions.

Landscape Archaeology and ‘Landscape-scale’ projects

Open session

Caron Newman

  • Newcastle University

Richard Newman

  • Humber Archaeology Partnership

Abstract: Large-scale archaeological fieldwork and research programmes based on major infrastructure developments and regional or sub-regional scale programmes of archaeological research offer particular challenges and opportunities for landscape archaeologists. Major infrastructure developments have provided opportunities to acquire extensive datasets of archaeological information and where structured appropriately such projects have produced much more than ribbons of sites. Regional and sub-regional research has enabled more sophisticated and responsive usage of archaeological data in curatorial practice. Such projects are often large-scale in relation to time as well as space. Such large-scale projects require methodologies that take account of the impacts of scale on research outcomes as both the temporal and spatial scales at which we observe phenomena influence the interpretation of the phenomena. Above all well-constructed landscape archaeology projects at the regional or sub-regional scale have the potential to fill the spaces between the sites and provide a more holistic view of the development of past societies.

This session will examine the approaches being applied to these large datasets including the use of assemblage theory, GIS, multi-spectral analysis and integrated multi-disciplinary studies. It will review past projects as exemplars of best practice, examine current work and look forward to new initiatives to deal with extensive landscape-based large archaeological datasets.

Mapping the past: archaeological evidence for territories and identities from Bronze to Iron Ages

Open session

Cristina Seoane Novo

  • Universidade de Santiago de Compostela

Andrés Teira Brión

  • Universidade de Santiago de Compostela

María Martín Seijo

  • Universidade de Santiago de Compostela

Emilio Abad Vidal

  • Centro de Supercomputación de Galicia

Josefa Rey Castiñeira

  • Universidade de Santiago de Compostela

 Abstract: Spatial analysis of materials has been and still being crucial in the study of past societies. Archaeologists have developed appropriate theoretical frameworks for addressing the study of material nature, involving aspects such as their distribution, meaning and mobility at different scales. Among others, the macro-scale analysis has been used to define the limits of cultures, ethnic groups or routes of commercial and cultural exchange during Bronze and Iron Ages. Whilst at semi-micro or micro-scale it has been used to interpret the areas of activity or the social significance of materials.

Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have opened the doors to a great amount of data. Their analytical capability has been crucial in the development of spatial studies of the last decades. However, these studies have sometimes fallen into the banality of considering the map –as a graphical representation of data– as a result, whilst it is only a filter of the information obtained. As the spatial distribution of material evidence do not determine realities by itself, territory should not be considered an objective but a product of the analysis of variables.

This session welcomes contributions focused on highlighting the spatial diversity expressed by materials during the Bronze and Iron Ages; as well as research aiming to define spaces and territories, to contribute to their social and economic meaning, studies of human-thing entanglement and even the generation of collective and individual identities. In other words, defining how theoretical or methodological approaches could contribute to the social, cultural, economic and even symbolic meaning of materials, from spatial technologies.

Unravelling entangled pathways. Debating new approaches to study the interaction of past movement and settlement systems.

Open session

Laure Nuninger

  • CNRS, Chrono-Environnement- C.N. Ledoux MSHE

Rachel Opitz

  • Archaeology School of Humanities, University of Glasgow

César Parcero-Oubiña

  • Incipit, CSIC

Thibault Saintenoy

  • Incipit, CSIC

Philip Verhagen

  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Abstract: Understanding the motivations and travel patterns of past societies allows for a better analysis of land use dynamics because movement underlies the organization of a wide variety of landscape features. Movement left physical or intangible (memory, stories) traces that are difficult to recover because they are intertwined and create a complex archaeological picture over long periods of activity. Movement in archaeology is studied through diverse approaches (observational field work, remote sensing detection, network analysis, spatial analysis and modelling, agent-based modelling and simulation…). The ontological interoperability of the data created through these approaches is uncertain. The challenges of making these data compatible is particularly salient, given that much of the data involved is digital, in the context of the FAIR data principles. Consequently new paradigms to reconstruct the logical assemblage that constitutes systems of movement are needed.

This session provides a forum to discuss the theoretical and methodological implications of analyzing past movement, in particular within the context of settlement system studies. How do we conceive the relationship between space and movement ? How do we elaborate datasets to study movement within the landscape ? How do we use and structure various datasets in our analyses of movement flows and their relationship with the landscape and settlements? How do we conceive, as archaeologists, the idea of pathways entanglement, related to their accumulation over time?

To approach these issues it is necessary to clarify:

  • The landscape archaeological frameworks we use to create data about or to conceive past movement.
  • The way we are interpreting empirical evidence of movement about the landscape which has to be presented in detail: how do we treat built roads ? trails ? stairs ? or other path features ? how do we recognize them as pathways ?
  • Our analytical approaches to the study and interpretation of past movement: what kind of data and knowledge do we use to study a movement flow, a network or a meshwork? How might computational modelling as a simulation of movement or emulation (reconstruction) help to disentangle and complete the empirical data picture?
  • Our idea of validation of models of movement from theoretical and computational points of view, and in relationship to the settlement system.

This session aims to consider these questions within the framework of the FAIR data principles, building towards the goal of creating inter-compatible ontologies for past movement studies. This session further aims to bring together diverse perspectives to discuss and compare the paradigms, data, and analyses applied in different contexts. We therefore invite papers based on case studies from any region. We particularly encourage case studies presented within the framework of a transcultural approach, including comparisons across multiple regions.  Papers can present advanced ontological approaches or more generally address their own reflections and experiences related to the themes of this session.

Open session with a slightly different format:

The session will be introduced by a keynote contribution. This keynote contribution will be precirculated to the presenters a month before the conference in order to share the concepts and approaches that we intend to discuss. The contributors to the session are expected to reflect upon this in their own presentations.

Understanding the scale of landscape as the scale of human interpretation

Open session

Gail Higginbottom

  • Incipit, CSIC

Thibault Saintenoy

  • Incipit, CSIC

Cristina Tejedor-Rodríguez    

  • Incipit, CSIC

Abstract: When archaeologists study landscapes, they often analyze locational and spatial patterning of artefacts and sites, ending up with a whole lot of descriptions, maps and graphs, but with little interpretation about the people themselves and/or their understanding of their World.

Interestingly, interpretation of past landscapes is often seen as a matter of size and scale, moving from the iconographic spatial patterns on a pot to the layers of meaning of a national park, for instance. The theoretical basis of this session upholds that, as communities of people operate right across the land, creating landscapes, they are operating on the same scale as the landscape they created. This might be understood more clearly if we are looking at communities that live a “large-scale life” through large degrees of landscape interaction. Such lives might include: traversing large tracts of land/water, a great or regular amount of mobility, or wide-spread communication between groups that usually reside separately. Significantly, in a similar way, as belief systems are “attached” to these communities, they too can be thought of as being ”large scale“. In these ways, then, landscape patterns, communities and belief systems that are intertwined (whether large, medium or small) can be theoretically compatible and interpretable at the same scale.

This session looks for speakers presenting a variety of new technologies or approaches that increases the likelihood of creating interpretable information, such as visualization techniques, social network analysis and agent-based modelling. This could also include a focus on material culture that reflects personhood (personal adornment found in cemeteries across an entire region(s)). Alternatively, or as well as this, projects that have dedicated considerable thought to the interpretation of the results of their data analyses are highly encouraged. 

Specific old and new ideas to debate could include: people are fundamental to landscape for landscapes only exist in so far as they are represented and experienced. Or from a slightly different interpretative angle, landscapes exist through the belief systems of people. We also seek approaches that can empirically explain the different scales of landscape that include notions of people at the centre. Thus, is it possible, perhaps, to divide the scale of landscape into the following ‘dimensions’: 1) what is immediately around us (what we experience: the physical environment that our senses detect), 2) what we know exists but cannot immediately see and 3) cosmological worlds. We look forward to debating these and other ideas in our session with you.

Territory and Romanization: Settlement pattern and cultural change in the final period of the Iron Age in the Iberian Peninsula (3rd-1st centuries BC)

Open session

David Quixal Santos

  • Departament de Prehistòria, Arqueologia i Hª Antiga, Universitat of Valencia

Abstract: This session aims to analyse, from the perspective of the Landscape Archaeology and / or Archaeology of Territory, how the debated Romanization process took place. From the multiple perspectives and analysis that the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) offer us, we will study the different rhythms, patterns and characteristics that the new scenario entailed in terms of settlement pattern across the ancient Iberia.

From the pioneering territorial studies in the Edetanian area in the late 80s of last century, numerous studies about ancient Iberian territories in the current regions of Andalucia, Murcia, Castilla-La Mancha, Valencia, Bajo Aragón or Catalunya have been carried out. However, as in many other areas of the Iberian world, we lack reference studies at a global level with comparative analysis of different areas, trying to see if common rhythms and dynamics can be raised. The realization of a session like this will allow to combine different geographical areas and to see the multiple variables of these processes at a political, economic and cultural level.

Undoubtedly, heterogeneity is the dominant note in the Iberian territorial studies. We find territories where the population fracture occurred in parallel to the conquest or immediately after. At the same time, we find territories where the 2nd century B.C. was a phase of continuity and even brilliance in some ways. Finally, we have areas where the rupture of the settlement pattern occurred very late, in the 1st century B.C. and even at the gates of the Roman Empire.

At a methodological level, all types of analysis linked to the tools of GIS will be included: production and catchment areas, mobility, visibility, dispersion of materials, settlement hierarchy, existence of borders or sacred landscape. The session will also be a good meeting point for professionals from diverse backgrounds in order to exchange knowledge about GIS and all kind of computer applications.

Therefore, the main study area will be the Iberian one: Eastern and Southern sides of the Iberian Peninsula. However, it is interesting to extend the session to all kind of communications and posters about the Celtic and Celtiberian areas, because this can enrich the comparative analysis of the final period of the pre-Roman world.

Cyberarchaeology, Remote Sensing and Digital Landscapes

Open session

Maurizio Forte

  • Department of Classical Studies, Duke University

Abstract: Study, interpretation and classification of archaeological landscapes need a multidisciplinary approach and the involvement of several digital technologies: remote sensing, geophysical prospections, robotics, digital photogrammetry, drone mapping, virtual reality, digital simulations. The combination of these techniques creates new and unexplored digital workflows, from data capturing to digital simulation and virtual reconstructions. This session wants to explore in particular the interaction between empirical and digital landscapes, the development and application of new technologies and the analysis of archaeological landscapes by multiple sensors. On top of it, we want to discuss what is the impact of new sensors, virtual reality, soundscapes, simulations and digital ontologies in the way we interpret and classify ancient landscapes and sites. In short, these “mediated tools” are able to create different research questions and new cognitive results in digital hermeneutics. This impact turns out in the generation of a large amount of digital data (“big data”) never experienced before in the history of archaeology. How do we reframe research questions in digital landscape archaeology? How do we envision big data visualization and simulation processes in landscape archaeology? What do we learn in this new age of sensing and virtual realities?

One of the main goals of the session is to go over the technological achievement (the “aesthetics of the digital”) and to focus the discussion mainly on methodological challenges in diverse research environments. Scholars with different backgrounds from EU and USA will discuss these research topics in the light of different case studies involving several categories of landscapes and data from different research perspectives: theoretical, perceptual-cognitive, technological, architectural-anthropic, ecological, sensorial, environmental.

Historic Mediterranean terraces as sustainable landscapes

Open session

Sam Turner

  • Newcastle University

Lisa-Marie Shillito

  • Newcastle University

Tim Kinnaird

  • University of St Andrews

Abstract: Across the world terraced landscapes have been created to produce diverse crops, to improve soils and to manage water resources - historically, they have been critical in many areas for dry-land agriculture. Despite this widespread occurrence, the history of agricultural terraces has remained poorly understood, largely due to problems in dating their construction, modification and use. This failure to understand the history of terraces has hampered broader research on the histories of  landscapes, limiting knowledge of how settlements operated within their wider landscapes and of how terraces reflect the long-term investment choices made by rural communities. New techniques for dating soil profiles have recently demonstrated unique potential to unravel the formation and development of terraces through time. Applied in parallel with geoarchaeological techniques, including chemical and micromorphological analysis, and broader landscape survey, these methods presents an opportunity to revolutionise understanding of past terrace systems and their landscapes - and to reveal and evaluate the societal, economic and environmental strategies that underpinned their construction, evolution and abandonment. Our session will invite research papers in four key areas relating to the history of terraces:

  • When and how were terraces constructed, maintained and managed in different periods and regions?
  • What were the triggers for terracing, and why were they sometimes abandoned?
  • Has terracing proved an environmentally sustainable land-use strategy for rural communities?
  • Did terraces enable greater resilience to economic or ecological instability, and did they help mitigate the impacts of past climate change?

The shift from pre-20th century 'traditional' terracing had major environmental consequences, causing widespread erosion and impacting soil health and drainage. Better understanding of how historic periods of transformation in farming impacted the land are essential to provide better information with which to underpin future sustainable land-use and create informed policies for future resilience, particularly in the face of increasing demand for food and climatic instability. Such needs are not limited to Europe and can be identified around the world.

Cultural Heritage and the planning of European landscapes

Open session

Gert-Jan Burgers

  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Sam Turner

  • Newcastle University


European countries are proud of their rich heritage and landscape assets, both urban and rural. They have a lengthy and successful history of conserving them and capitalising on them culturally and economically. Throughout the 20th century, particularly since the 1960s, great progress has been made in creating structures and promulgating principles (often in conjunction with the international community through UNESCO) to guide heritage and landscape conservation. As the 21st century proceeds, however, it is becoming increasingly clear that a further paradigm shift is required. There are new far-reaching drivers for change, including rising and moving populations, greater connections through the digital world between communities, environmental degradation and climate change, major shifts in the public/private balance within society at large, and (in the face of global economic difficulties) a reinforced pressure for growth, despite warnings of the Club of Rome report and the sustainability movement. The significant steps forward made in heritage theory, aims and practice are no longer sufficient. Confronted with such a fast-changing context, heritage management needs to become more proactive. More powerful ideas, tools and training are needed to ensure that interdisciplinary, research-based heritage and landscape management and spatial planning are positively integrated with business activity, with city and rural development, and with democratic participation in decision making that shapes the future landscape.

Although this premise is widely shared, its challenge is still largely unmet. Most of all, the necessary fully transdisciplinary landscape approach that is required is not developed enough to allow the interconnectedness of cultural, social, economic and planning issues to be achieved. Participants in this session will have individually played a leading role in the development of this new socially-embedded approach to heritage. The session will provide a forum to take these ideas forward and relate them into concrete practice, based on the premise that interdisciplinary, research-based spatial planning and design will enable heritage concerns to be dynamically integrated with city and rural development. Participants will include researchers involved in a new initiative called ‘Cultural heritage in the planning of European landscapes’ (‘Heriland’), which aims to lay the foundations for a European graduate school in heritage landscape planning (see - the project is supported by the European Union as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network).

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