Approaches to the Human Use of Space
This course offers an introduction to the many different ways in which human societies have used space and responded to the built, natural and/or culturally-laden spaces around them. It is a core component of the MSc in GIS and Spatial Analysis in Archaeology, but it also has proven particularly popular with students on the MA Archaeology who have a strong interest in landscape theory. Students are introduced to the major theoretical approaches that archaeologists and others have employed to consider the human use of space. More specifically, it addresses issues, techniques and research agendas such as the psychology of spatial representation, space syntax, landscape phenomenology, catchment analysis, Geographic Information Systems, cognitive maps and fractal mathematics. It places particular emphasis on an awareness of both emic and etic concepts of route, place and region, as well as how these might be materially manifested in the archaeological record and/or modelled by archaeologists.
The course is taught using a combination of participatory lectures and seminars, and it is assessed via one extended ethnographic report and one essay. It would particularly benefit those seeking a well-rounded and theoretically-balanced view of how archaeologists might approach spatial questions.