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Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology



Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology & the Ancient World
Brown University
Box 1837 / 60 George Street
Providence, RI 02912
Telephone: (401) 863-3188
Fax: (401) 863-9423
[email protected]

Proposal: Place-making on the move

In this paper, I plan to explore the role that roads, and especially movement along them, play in the constitution of place. In such an endeavor, I will draw on a number of different sources – phenomenology (and the multiple senses that go into such an exercise), cognitive science, and memory studies – to explore the connections between anthropological approaches and cognitive science in attempting an understanding of experience of place in the past. In general, I see the paper progressing as follows: exploration of the mental frameworks of humans that, with the inclusion of specific factors, create individual humans who yet share the ability to have common experiences; exploration of how the experience of traveling along a road requires more than a visual perspective of factors to be incorporated into said framework; use of memory studies gain a grasp of how those different factors can be retained in a mental framework and how that affects incorporation of new experiences in a setting like traveling along a road.

Within these more “general” avenues, I hope to use the roads of Roman Asia Minor, particularly within my fieldwork area – the Avkat Project in Çorum province – as a case study to apply those approaches discussed above, drawing upon discussion of roads in other parts of the world – i.e, Gates-Foster’s discussion of roads in Roman Egypt, or Trombold’s of those in the New World – to gain an even greater understanding.

One thing I hope to accomplish with putting together this paper is a greater understanding of how places, as humans understand them, are not really a static phenomenon as they are often portrayed in early landscape paintings – they do not exist only from the perspective of a resting position, but are perceived by walking around them, and even then, not just as a visual exercise (contra Goffman 1978, as portrayed in Ingold 2004: 327). Drawing upon cognitive science and studies of how memory is involved in such processes will, I hope, lead to new ways of understanding place-making on the move.

Preliminary Bibliography

Clifford, J. 1997. Routes: Travel and Translation in the Late Twentieth Century. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

French, David. 1981. Roman Roads and Milestones of Asia Minor. British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara Monograph No. 9. Oxford: BAR International Series 392(ii).

Gates-Foster, Jennifer. 2006. “Hidden Passage: Graeco-Roman Roads in Egypt’s Eastern Desert.” in Space and Spatial Analysis in Archaeology, ed. E. Robertson et al. Calgary: University of Calgary Press: 315-322.

Given, Michael. 2004. The Archaeology of the Colonized. Routledge.

Goffman, E. 1971. Relations in Public: Microstudies of the Public Order. London: Allen Lane.

Ingold, Tim. 2004. “Culture on the Ground: The World Perceived Through the Feet.” in Journal of Material Culture 9: 315-340.

--. 2007. Lines: a brief history. New York: Routledge, 2007.

Ingold, Tim and Jo Lee Vergunst, eds. 2008. Ways of Walking: ethnography and practice on foot. Burlington, VT: Ashgate.

Lee, Jo and Tim Ingold. 2006. “Fieldwork on Foot: Perceiving, Routing, Socializing.” in Locating the Field: Space, Place and Context in Anthropology, ed. Simon Michael Coleman. Oxford: Berg Publishers, 67-58.

Llobera, Marcos. 2000. “Understanding movement: a pilot model towards the sociology of movement.” in Beyond the Map: archaeology and spatial technologies, ed. Gary Lock. Amsterdam and Washington, D.C.: IOS Press, 65-84.

Sperber, Dan. 1996. Explaining Culture: A Naturalistic Approach. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Blackwell.

Tremlin, Todd. 2006. Minds and Gods: The Cognitive Foundations of Religion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Trombold, Charles D. 1991. Ancient road networks and settlement hierarchies in the New World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Urry, John. 2003. “Social networks, travel and talk.” in British Journal of Sociology 54(2): 155-175.

--. 2002. “Mobility and Proximity.” in Sociology 36(2): 255-274.