Chris Green and Letty ten Harkel have just returned from the second Landscape Archaeology Conference (LAC) at the Freie Universität in Berlin. The Conference was a great success and overall was very enjoyable.
Letty presented a paper on her initial thoughts about her Dartmoor / Tamar case study, bringing in the concept of “hauntology” to try to think about how the early medieval inhabitants of Devon might have been haunted by the presence of previous dwellers, immanent in the landscape through their ruins and monuments, as seen in the monstrous inhabitants of ancient barrows so vividly captured in Beowulf.
Chris produced a poster on the methodological challenges confronted so far by the project, focusing in particular on his grid square synthesis system. Unfortunately, both Chris and Letty were too old to be eligible for any of the awards handed out, but both presentations of the EngLaId project seemed to be well-received.
Other papers of particular interest attended by Chris or Letty included: Kenneth Brophy / Gordon Noble on the immense Neolithic palisaded megastructures at Strathearn; Stefania Merlo on the short (in height) but extensive (in area) stone-walled megastructures of southeastern Africa; Jason Ur on the continuum between imposed (top down) and emergent (bottom up) ancient landscapes in ancient Mesopotamia; and Daniel Lawrence (and others) on dealing with uncertain chronologies using GIS, which had a lot in common with Chris’s particular research interests.
Overall, it was a very enjoyable few days in sunny Berlin and we hope to build on the contacts built in the future. LAC 2014 will take place in Rome, but there is a possibility that we may host LAC 2016 here in Oxford in coordination with the international landscape conference planned for the final year of the EngLaId project.