Phenomenological Approaches to Landscape Archaeology

Authored by: Christopher Tilley

Handbook of Landscape Archaeology

Print publication date:  December  2008
Online publication date:  June  2016

Print ISBN: 9781598742947
eBook ISBN: 9781315427737
Adobe ISBN: 9781315427720


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The purpose of this chapter is to outline some of the key elements of a phenomenological approach to landscape archaeology. From a phenomenological perspective, knowledge of landscapes, either past or present, is gained through perceptual experience of them from the point of view of the subject (for some general theoretical and philosophical discussions, see Thomas 2006; Tilley 1994, 2004a, 2005). A phenomenologist attempts to describe these experiences as fully as possible. The objective is to provide a rich or “thick” description allowing others to comprehend these landscapes in their nuanced diversity and complexity, and to enter into these experiences through their metaphorical textual mediation.

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