The development of methods in urban excavations through time

Lecture by PhD student Johan Larsen (UrbNet, Aarhus University).

2018.07.06 | Julie Thomsen Raunstrup

Date Tue 23 Oct
Time 12:00 13:00
Location Centre for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet) Aarhus University Moesgård Allé 20, DK-8270 Højbjerg Denmark, Building 4230-232

The development of methods in urban excavations through time

While archaeological observations have been made in towns for more than 150 years, manuals on how to excavate did not appear until about 100 years ago. Since then, a vast number of manuals have promoted an equally vast amount of differing methods. When seen in a temporal perspective, these methods appear to have evolved in an almost neo-Darwinian manner as they adapt to their environment, to new technological advances, to new regulations, and to the changing discourse. The methods seem to evolve alongside the research questions that are trending within the individual field at the time, largely ignoring the trends that govern the debates around archaeological theory. Upon closer inspection, however, the chosen approaches appear far more influenced by the experiences of the individual excavator than the generally taught practices. This cannot necessarily be seen in the excavation manuals, and hence new approaches have to be adopted in order to investigate how archaeological methodology develops.

This talk will attempt to pin down the processes that affect the archaeological methods, from the single scholar to the overarching theorem.

History and archaeology, Lecture/talk