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Ideas of Landscape

ISBN: 978-1-4051-0159-2
268 pages
September 2006, Wiley-Blackwell
Ideas of Landscape (1405101598) cover image
Ideas of Landscape discusses the current theory and practice of landscape archaeology and offers an alternative agenda for landscape archaeology that maps more closely onto the established empirical strengths of landscape study and has more contemporary relevance.

  • The first historical assessment of a critical period in archaeology
  • Takes as its focus the so-called English landscape tradition -- the ideological underpinnings of which come from English Romanticism, via the influence of the “father of landscape history”: W. G. Hoskins
  • Argues that the strengths and weaknesses of landscape archaeology can be traced back to the underlying theoretical discontents of Romanticism
  • Offers an alternative agenda for landscape archaeology that maps more closely onto the established empirical strengths of landscape study and has more contemporary relevance
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List of Figures.

Acknowledgements.

The Argument.

Preface: Thinking about Swaledale.

1. Introduction.

2. Lonely as a Cloud.

3. A Good Pair of Boots.

4. The Loss of Innocence.

5. Landscape Archaeology Today.

6. The Politics of Landscape.

7. Conclusion.

Glossary.

References.

Index

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Matthew Johnson is Professor of Archaeology, University of Southampton, and author of Behind the Castle Gate (2002), Archaeological Theory: An Introduction (Blackwell, 1999), An Archaeology of Capitalism (Blackwell, 1996), and Housing Culture (1993).
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  • The first historical assessment of a critical period in archaeology
  • Takes as its focus the so-called English landscape tradition -- the ideological underpinnings of which come from English Romanticism, via the influence of the “father of landscape history”: W. G. Hoskins
  • Argues that the strengths and weaknesses of landscape archaeology can be traced back to the underlying theoretical discontents of Romanticism
  • Offers an alternative agenda for landscape archaeology that maps more closely onto the established empirical strengths of landscape study and has more contemporary relevance

See More
"I have always found Johnson’s work … extremely inviting, engaging and thoughtful. Ideas of Landscape is no exception." (Cambridge Archaeological Journal, October 2008)

“One might suggest that in this excellent work, Johnson has written an archaeology of knowledge concerning landscape studies. A glossary and illustrations add meaningfully to a work of much industry … Highly recommended.” (Choice)

Ideas of Landscape is a towering contribution--shall we say, a high vantage point from which one can
survey a scholarly landscape?” (Canadian Journal of Archaeology)

"I read Matthew Johnson's Ideas of Landscape (Blackwell) with intense interest. It discusses the theory and practice of landscape archaeology and the Romantic English landscape tradition, boldly taking on received opinion about figures such as Wordsworth and WG Hoskins, and making us think hard about what we can know about the past, why we want to know it, and how we may be misled about it. It's an original, informative, and well-argued work, accessible to the general reader, and both worrying and illuminating."
–Margaret Drabble, Times Literary Supplement

"Ideas of Landscape is a challenging and accessible contribution to an expanding theoretical and historical field. Mobilizing the English topographical tradition of scholarship, centred on the writings of W.G. Hoskins, the book positions a critical understanding of landscape, as both cultural representation and physical reality, at the centre of the study of the past and its meanings in the present."
Stephen Daniels, Professor of Cultural Geography, University of Nottingham

"Matthew Johnson writes an archaeology of knowledge for landscape studies. He enables us to know what to study next by knowing how the field was formed and the mistakes its practitioners made. Both a deconstruction and a forecast, Johnson's volume ranks with the new books on race by Orser, on colonialism by Schrire, and with his own foundational An Archaeology of Capitalism. With these books historical archaeology is mature."
Mark P. Leone, Professor of Anthropology, University of Maryland

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