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The University of Southampton
TAG 2016 Southampton

S28. Visualising People in Past Landscapes

****We are sorry, this session has been CANCELLED****

Session organizer:


Katy Bell (University of Winchester,

Session abstract:

Archaeology is “The study of human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites and the analysis of artefacts and other physical remains.” OED. If we are studying humans then we are concerned with people and if we are concerned about people we are worried about individuals, families and social teaming. Ten years ago Wessex Archaeology put together a 3D video to visualise a group of people in the late Mesolithic based on a landscape created using seabed evidence people were invited to meet the people and animals of this period. Awkwardly the only female in the piece is “observing” the landscape, men fish and hunt (the latter as father and son) and children play and gather. None of the human characters interact with each other and the star of the piece is most definitely the dog and his relationship with a hunter. However, it is easy to criticise brave attempts to engage with the archaeological evidence and the human past, especially those efforts that are clearly designed with the purpose of outreach and educational engagement.

This session invites papers offering any solution on how to visualise people (physically, socially and psychologically) in any past landscape. Does the answer lie in theory? Computer Science? Anthropology? Better understanding of artefacts/environmental evidence? Or do we need to take a “Holistic” approach to have any hope of understanding people in the landscape? Once we have some ideas how do we convey them to a wider audience in an interesting and relevant way (re-enactment? More computer science?)? If you have the answers to any of these questions I look forward to receiving your paper abstract.


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