A Phenomenology of Landscape: Places, Paths and Monuments (Explorations in Anthropology)
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Offers a new approach to landscape perception.
This book is an extended photographic essay about topographic features of the landscape. It integrates philosophical approaches to landscape perception with anthropological studies of the significance of the landscape in small-scale societies. This perspective is used to examine the relationship between prehistoric sites and their topographic settings. The author argues that the architecture of Neolithic stone tombs acts as a kind of camera lens focussing attention on landscape features such as rock outcrops, river valleys, mountain spurs in their immediate surroundings. These monuments played an active role in socializing the landscape and creating meaning in it.
A Phenomenology of Landscape is unusual in that it links two types of publishing which have remained distinct in archaeology: books with atmospheric photographs of monuments with a minimum of text and no interpretation; and the academic text in which words provide a substitute for visual imagery. Attractively illustrated with many photographs and diagrams, it will appeal to anyone interested in prehistoric monuments and landscape as well as students and specialists in archaeology, anthropology and human geography.
in pollen diagrams from south-west Wales appears to have been dominated by oak, hazel and alder, with some local pine woodland and alder carr and sedge fen plant communities developing in valley bottoms and low-lying coastal sites (Caseldine 1990; Lewis 1990). At Marros and Abermawr Lewis (1990) attributes increases in hazel counts in pollen diagrams to an opening out of woodlands during the middle Neolithic and the late Mesolithic to early Neolithic respectively. Clearance of the woodland on a
vistas are dominated by the Black Mountains rising up in the distance. The major rivers or their tributaries are visible from all the sites. From seven of the fourteen monuments the irregular outlines of the Brecon Beacons to the south are also visible in the near or far distance. The locations of the monuments can be divided into three categories: (i) those situated in a lowland location along the river valleys on or near to river terraces above the flood plain; (ii^ in intermediate situations
settlement pits on Handley Hill closely associated with Wor barrow (Barrett et al. 1991b: 30-2). The distribution of leaf-shaped arrowheads, like the Mesolithic flint industries, is strongly related to areas of clay with flints, and there is a concentration of finds on Penbury Knoll. The only change from the Mesolithic pattern is that some findspots now appear on the chalk downland in areas where the long barrows and the Cursus were built. All findspots with over five arrowheads occur in areas
few exceptions. Many barrows are today located on footpaths, and originally the majority of these mounds may have been located along trackways or natural paths of movement through the landscape. The point at which tracks join may have been emphasized and marked out by a small cluster (2 or 3) of barrows. The orientation of the long axes of the barrows is closely related to that of the local topography, and in most cases they are aligned so as to run parallel to the contours along ridge axes (Fig.
Ridges, Valleys and Monuments on the Chalk Downland 179 180 A Phenomenology of Landscape visible on the skyline beyond the left Cursus bank. To the north the land is gentle and undulating, and nothing would be visible beyond the right-hand bank of the Cursus to those moving along within. Beyond the modern approach road to Pentridge the Cursus crosses a 350 m. stretch of relatively flat land constituting a localized high point, the land dipping away at first to the south, and then rising up