Archaeological Landscape and Settlement II

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X). This special issue belongs to the section "Landscape Archaeology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 5 June 2024 | Viewed by 3659

Special Issue Editors

Department of Asian and North African Studies, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, 30123 Venezia, Italy
Interests: landscape archaeology; prehistoric archaeology; shell middens; Indus Valley; high-altitude archaeology; lithic mining; hunter-gatherers; early farmers
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Civilizations and Forms of Knowledge, University of Pisa, 56128 Pisa, Italy
Interests: landscape archaeology; prehistoric archaeology; neolithization of Europe; raw material procurement and use; archaeometry of ceramics and stone artefacts; prehistory of the Indus Valley
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The goal of this Special Issue is to collect papers (original research articles and review papers) which provide insights about the exploitation of the world's highland zones.

During the last few decades, problems regarding the exploitation of the highland zones have been analysed in better detail by many archaeologists worldwide. People have started to interpret mountain chains not exclusively as natural barriers, but also like territories which were systematically exploited and crossed during prehistory and history, not only when the ice melted and passes became accessible to move throughout different landscapes, but also for settling in different periods of the year, for different reasons.

It is well known that mountaineers in general show many affinities and habits independent from the country where they live, the language they speak and the dress they wear. Ongoing archaeological research has shown how important highland zones are for the study of human behaviour, human impact on the landscape and the exploitation of new territories and resources, among which are different varieties of functional and precious stone, as well as metal ores. When did people start to move across mountains and why? Why they were attracted by highland zones, and why do some mountains hide indelible iconographic traces of people’s beliefs, settling and living? How can we interpret traces of transhumance and pastoralism, the somewhat ephemeral traces of the way shepherds built their seasonal camps made of tents or stone-walled and wooden dwellings? Some mountain chains around the world show traces of the passage of Palaeolithic groups and the first modern humans during their spread across Africa, Eurasia, and the New Continent. What do we know at present about all of these events, how do we study them and how can we improve the level of our research in the highland zones in the world?

Prof. Dr. Paolo Biagi
Prof. Dr. Elisabetta Starnini
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Land is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • human impact on the landscape
  • coastal changes and sea-level rise
  • settlement pattern and site complementarity
  • radiocarbon dating
  • the exploitation of the highland zones

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Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

20 pages, 4168 KiB  
Article
Older Is Not Necessarily Better: Decolonizing Ifugao History through the Archaeology of the Rice Terraces
Land 2024, 13(2), 237; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13020237 - 14 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1382
Abstract
This study examines the intersection of archaeological data and community narratives in interpreting the Ifugao Rice Terraces in the Philippines, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Long regarded as 2000-year-old symbols of an uncolonized cultural past, recent research challenges this view, suggesting a 16th-century [...] Read more.
This study examines the intersection of archaeological data and community narratives in interpreting the Ifugao Rice Terraces in the Philippines, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Long regarded as 2000-year-old symbols of an uncolonized cultural past, recent research challenges this view, suggesting a 16th-century origin coinciding with Spanish contact. The longstanding characterization of the Ifugao Rice Terraces as 2000-year-old monuments cemented a perception of Ifugao culture as static and unchanging, overshadowing the dynamic cultural practices that have persisted and evolved over the centuries. It is crucial to recognize that these terraces are not frozen in time but are active representations of Ifugao’s living culture, which has continually adapted to social, environmental, and historical changes while maintaining its distinct identity. This paradigm shift, supported by radiocarbon dating and ethnohistorical analysis, aligns more closely with local oral histories and portrays the Ifugao not as passive inheritors of tradition but as active participants in their history. We argue for the integration of scientific data with community stories, presenting a holistic understanding of the terraces as dynamic elements of Ifugao resilience and identity. The findings advocate a move away from romanticized historical interpretations toward a narrative that respects the complexity and adaptability of Indigenous cultural landscapes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Archaeological Landscape and Settlement II)
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21 pages, 5677 KiB  
Article
Beyond Colonial Boundaries: Reimagining the Rozvi through Landscapes, Identities and Indigenous Epistemologies
Land 2023, 12(8), 1625; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12081625 - 18 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1163
Abstract
The land, ‘things’/objects, and memory in the form of narratives and metaphors are intricately bound together. They all constitute the iconography of a shared set of ideas, beliefs, feelings, values, practices, and performances that objectify collective identities. Respectively, these complex entangled tangible and [...] Read more.
The land, ‘things’/objects, and memory in the form of narratives and metaphors are intricately bound together. They all constitute the iconography of a shared set of ideas, beliefs, feelings, values, practices, and performances that objectify collective identities. Respectively, these complex entangled tangible and spiritual/invisible indices of identities situated in places deserve special archaeological devotion. However, since African archaeology and history remains trapped in Eurocentric colonial metanarratives, indigenous epistemologies and ontologies have somehow remained on the margins of knowledge production processes. This deliberate erasure and silencing continues to impede archaeology’s capacity to explore hidden meanings and values that people imbue to places and landscapes through time. Owing to this setback, multiple precolonial group identities in parts of Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, and Mozambique such as Torwa, Twamamba, Rozvi, Singo, and Venda, among others, remain vague and subjectively tied to the archaeology of Butua/Torwa (AD 1400–1644) and Rozvi (AD 1685–1830) state systems. The failure to read the landscape as both a repository of memory and an agent for collective identities continues to compound our archaeological challenges. Against this background, Rozvi oral narratives and the Insiza cluster Khami-phase sites in southwestern Zimbabwe are subjected to renewed scrutiny. Following a critical review of colonial archives and Rozvi traditions, it turned out that instead of contradicting ‘science’, oral traditions actually amplify our reading of the archaeological record, only if handled properly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Archaeological Landscape and Settlement II)
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