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Identifying Water-bound Strategies in the Archaeological Record: The Multi-Period Case of Garn, an Inland Lacustrine Site in Sweden
Södertörn University, Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES).
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In archaeological research designs that focus on sites in coastal and shore-bound areas, a short geographical distance is often equated with a high degree of functional correlation between settlement and water without any further investigations of this (pre-)supposed relationship. This is both a theoretical and a methodological problem: instead of testing a hypothesis against the empirical material as the result of actions carried out by prehistoric people, a vaguely characterized empirical pattern is argued to reflect the inherent interrelationship to water. This article presents a process of generating and applying appropriate methodological approaches in the study of water-bound strategies. It explores a site with an initially unknown character and date, but with the remains of a still monumental artificial earthen wall standing close to what was hypothesized to be a former shore zone at Garn, in east central Sweden, and delves into how water-bound strategies might be expressed and investigated in archaeology.

Keyword [en]
maritime archaeology, site visibility, methodology, coastal site, landing site, east central Sweden, Garn
National Category
Archaeology
Research subject
Archaeology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-16184OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-16184DiVA: diva2:526390
Available from: 2012-04-10 Created: 2012-05-11 Last updated: 2012-05-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Seaward Landward: Investigations on the archaeological source value of the landing site category in the Baltic Sea region
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Seaward Landward: Investigations on the archaeological source value of the landing site category in the Baltic Sea region
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

There is a tendency in archaeology dealing with watercraft landing sites in a wider context to assume a direct relationship between sites in coastal and shore-bound areas and the practise of landing, without any deeper practical or theoretical exploration of the reality of any such relationship. This problem has its origins in the poor archaeological and conceptual definitions of watercraft landing sites obstructing any real understanding of the role of these sites in the maritime cultural landscape. Landing sites are taken for granted and they are undervalued as an archaeological source of explanation; notwithstanding, the concept of the landing site is readily used in archaeology in order to underpin archaeological interpretations on the maritime activities of past societies.

In order to break away from the simplified understandings of past water-bound strategies based on the undefined concept of the landing site, this dissertation suggests a definition of watercraft landing sites in a wider social sense as water-bound contact zones; places of social interaction that can be archaeologically identified and investigated. This perspective integrates the understanding of the intentional character of human activity related to watercraft landing with the remaining archaeological traces. Archaeological definitions of landing sites that can be tested against the archaeological data are provided, and thereby, the dissertation contributes with the possibility to archaeologically evaluate and approach the social function of watercraft landing sites. This dissertation demonstrates that there can be an archaeology of landing sites.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2012. 47 p.
Series
Södertörn Doctoral Dissertations, ISSN 1652-7399 ; 66
Series
, Aun, ISSN 0284-1347 ; 44
Keyword
Archaeology, Coastal archaeology, Maritime archaeology, Maritime cultural landscape, Landing sites, Harbours, Critical historiography, Sociology of landing sites, Model of interaction, Methodology, Shore displacement, Phosphate analysis, Baltic Sea region
National Category
Archaeology
Research subject
Archaeology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-16183 (URN)978-91-506-2285-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-05-25, Sal IX, Universitetshuset, Biskopsgatan 3, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-05-11 Created: 2012-05-11 Last updated: 2012-05-11Bibliographically approved

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Ilves, Kristin
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