Emptyscapes Seminar, Cambridge (UK)


Empty spaces & Empty phases: research questions, scales and methods

Venue – Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge, UK.
Timing – 25 May 2016 (13:00) to at 26 May (14:00).

Abstract – What’s new in archaeological survey in the Mediterranean countryside? After more than half a century of research and fieldwork, involving millions of hectares of survey, a host of meetings to discuss theory, methods, settlement, population, social and economic patterns, what are the current critical issues and perspectives in this field of studies? In the last decade we have seen the introduction of new techniques and ideas that are radically changing perspectives and possibilities within archaeological landscape survey. In particular we can now apply new survey, diagnostic, analytical and visualization techniques to help us integrate incoming data and to challenge previous understandings based mainly on field-walking survey and limited trial excavation. Moreover, new concepts and questions have come to the fore, such as ‘emptiness’ and the problems of ‘archaeological invisibility’, forcing us to revise our approaches to matters of scale, detail, research methodology and the framing of basic archaeological questions. This meeting, restricted to about 40 active participants, will provide an opportunity to discuss, through ‘blue skies thinking’ and relevant case studies, the present state-of-the-art within this field of studies, identifying critical issues and omissions, addressing ‘short-circuit’ thinking and exploring the opportunity to launch a ‘Next Wave’ of archaeological investigation in the varied countrysides around the Mediterranean Sea.

Speakers and discussants – Graeme Barker, Cyprian Broodbank, Stefano Campana, Charley French, Sauro Gelichi, Evangelia Kiriatzi, Rowan McLaughlin, Martin Millett, Cecilia Moine, Chris Musson, Dominic Powlesland, Antonio Quiros, Simon Stoddart, Fank Vermeulen, Robert Witcher.