Settlement and Landscape Archaeology
For contemporary archaeology, settlement and land-scape approaches represent an increasingly importantfocus that is vital for a core mission of the disciplineto describe, understand, and explain long-termcultural and behavioral change. Despite this signi-ﬁcance, few syntheses of this topic have been under-taken (cf. Parsons 1972, Ammerman 1981, Fish andKowalewski 1990, Billman and Feinman 1999). Yetsettlement and landscape approaches provide the onlylarge-scale perspective for the majority of premodernsocieties. These studies are reliant on archaeologicalsurface surveys, which discover and record the dis-tribution of material traces of past human presence
habitation across a landscape (see
ey and Exca
ation (Field Methods) in Archaeology
). Theexamination and analysis of these physical remainsfound on the ground surface (e.g., potsherds, stoneartifacts, house foundations, or earthworks) providethe empirical foundation for the interpretation of ancient settlement patterns and landscapes.
1. Historical Background
Although the roots of settlement pattern and land-scape approaches extend back to the end of thenineteenth century, archaeological survey has onlycome into its own in the post World War II era.Spurred by the analytical emphases of Steward (1938),Willey’s Viru
Valley archaeological survey (1953)providedakeyimpetusforsettlementpattern researchin the Americas. In contrast, the landscape approach,which has a more focal emphasis on the relationshipbetween sites and their physical environments, has itsrootsintheUK.Nevertheless,contemporaryarchaeo-logical studies indicate a high degree of intellectualcross-fertilization between these diﬀerent surface ap-proaches.
1.1 Early Foundations for Archaeological Sur
ey inthe Americas and England
The American settlement pattern tradition stems backto scholars, such as Morgan (1881), who queried howthe remnants of Native American residential archi-tecture reﬂected the social organization of the nativepeoples who occupied them. Yet the questions posedby Morgan led to relatively few immediate changes inhow archaeology was practiced, and for severaldecades few scholars endeavored to address thespeciﬁc questions regarding the relationship betweensettlement and social behavior that Morgan posed.When surface reconnaissance was undertaken byarchaeologists, it tended to be a largely unsystematicexercise carried out to ﬁnd sites worthy of excavation.In the UK, the landscape approach, pioneered byFox (1922), was more narrowly focused on thedeﬁnition of distributional relationships between dif-ferent categories of settlements and environmentalfeatures (e.g., soils, vegetation, topography). Oftenthese early studies relied on and summarized surveysand excavations that were carried out by numerousinvestigators using a variety of ﬁeld procedures ratherthan more uniform or systematic coverage imple-mented by a single research team. At the same time,the European landscape tradition generally has had acloserlinktoromanticthoughtasopposedtothemorepositivistic roots of the North American settlementpattern tradition (e.g., Sherratt 1996).
1.2 The De
elopment of Settlement Archaeology
By the 1930s and 1940s, US archaeologists working inseveral global regions recognized that changing pat-ternsofsocialorganizationcouldnotbereconstructedand interpreted through empirical records that reliedexclusively on the excavation of a single site orcommunity within a speciﬁc region. For example, inthe lower Mississippi Valley, Phillips et al. (1951)located and mappedarchaeological sitesacross a largearea to analyze shifting patterns of ceramic styles andsettlements over broad spatial domains and temporalcontexts.Yet the most inﬂuential and problem-focused inves-tigation of that era was that of Willey in the Viru
Valley. Willey’s project was the ﬁrst to formallyelucidate the scope and potential analytical utility of settlement patterns for understanding long-termchange in human economic and social relationships.His vision moved beyond the basic correlation of environmental features and settlements as well asbeyond the mere deﬁnition of archtypical settlementtypes for a given region. In addition to its theoreticalcontributions, the Viru
program also was innovativemethodologically, employing (for the ﬁrst time in theWestern Hemisphere) vertical air photographs in thelocation and mapping of ancient settlements. Al-13937