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Forms of Dwelling

Forms of Dwelling: 20 years of Taskscapes in archaeology

Ulla Rajala
Philip Mills
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition: 1st
Published by: Oxbow Books
Pages: 272
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  • Book Info
    Forms of Dwelling
    Book Description:

    The concept of a socially constructed space of human activity in areas of everyday actions, as initially proposed in the field of anthropology by Tim Ingold, has actually been much more applied in archaeology. In this wide-ranging collection of 13 papers, including a re-assessment by Ingold himself, contributors show why it has been so influential, with papers ranging from the study of Mesolithic to historic and contemporary archaeology, revisiting different research themes, such as Ingold’s own Lapland study, and the development of landscape archaeology. A series of case studies demonstrates the value and strength of the taskscape concept applied to a variety of contexts and scales across wide geographical and temporal situations. While exploring new frontiers, the papers contrast British, Nordic and Mediterranean archaeologies to showcase the study of material culture and landscape and conclude with an assessment of the concept of taskcape and its further developments.

    eISBN: 978-1-78570-380-5
    Subjects: Archaeology
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Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter (pp. i-ii)
  2. Table of Contents (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Contributors (pp. v-vi)
  4. Chapter 1 Introduction: from taskscape to ceramiscene and beyond (pp. 1-15)
    Ulla Rajala and Philip Mills

    Tim Ingold’s seminal paper ‘The Temporality of the Landscape’ was originally published inWorld Archaeologyin October 1993. That paper was based on a presentation he had given in the session ‘Place, time and experience: interpreting prehistoric landscapes’, at the Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG) conference at the University of Leicester in December 1991. Thus, it was fitting that TAG was also the venue chosen for a 20-year anniversary session of this article’s publication. Organised by Philip Mills (University of Leicester) and Ulla Rajala (Stockholm University), the ‘20 years of taskscapes: from temporalities to ceramiscenes’ session took place in the Bournemouth...

  5. Chapter 2 Taking taskscape to task (pp. 16-27)
    Tim Ingold

    Many years ago – it must have been in 1990–1 – I found myself in front of a large class of students at the University of Manchester, attending their first lectures in social anthropology. I was trying to explain to them what the subject was about. Social anthropology, I said, is the study of social life in all its variety. But social life, since it is the ocean in which we all swim, is not something we can readily grasp. How could I instil into the students the special kind of apperception that would hold a mirror to the world in...

  6. Chapter 3 Landscape archaeology and the re-humanisation project (pp. 28-40)
    Andrew Fleming

    Not long ago, British archaeologists were distressed to hear of the much too early death of Mick Aston. His obituarists focussed mainly on his colourful and lively presence as the moving spirit of the long-running television programmeTime Team; few mentioned his involvement – in his late 20s – in the promotion of the discipline of landscape archaeology. In the early 1970s, when ‘landscape archaeology’ was first formalised by Aston and by Trevor Rowley (1974; see also Aston 1985) – as phrase, concept and archaeological discipline – most of the land on planet Earth became the material taskscape for the landscape archaeologist. In due...

  7. Chapter 4 Approaching the Mesolithic through taskscapes: a case study from western Ireland (pp. 41-61)
    Killian Driscoll

    The use of the concept of the ‘landscape’ as an analytical tool by archaeologists began in the mid-20th century, following the gradual move away from a focus on artefacts and sites to a more regional one on networks between sites. A driving force for this new regional perspective was the resources available so archaeologists could afford grander projects (Sherratt 1996). In a pre-Celtic Tiger Ireland context it is apposite that some regional projects folded partly due to financial issues (Woodman and Johnson 1996), and that the first two large prehistoric projects in Ireland – the Carrowmore project (Burenhult 1984) and the...

  8. Chapter 5 Interpreting a ceramiscene: characterising Late Republican and Imperial landscapes (pp. 62-84)
    Ulla Rajala and Philip Mills

    This paper continues a series developing the concept of ‘ceramiscene’ (Mills and Rajala 2011a; 2011b; 2014; Rajala and Mills 2014). This is based on the adaption of Lynch’s (1960) urban Elements, the basic classificatory categories of Nodes, Districts, Edges, Paths, and Landmarks, onto the hinterland of a Roman urban centre, inspired partly by Ellis’s (1995) application to Roman urban form. This theoretical framework was combined with the tools of functional and fineware analysis developed for pottery assemblages, largely by Evans (2001). The concept originally resulted from ‘The Romanisation of a Faliscan Town’ project and it was partly a response to...

  9. Chapter 6 The roofscapes of Petra: the use of ceramic roof tiles in a Nabataean-Roman urban context (pp. 85-113)
    Pirjo Hamari

    Roof tiles are a type of ancient ceramic building material, manufactured from clay and fired in kilns to produce a standardised and durable roofing material. They can be the most volume-intensive finds from the Roman Empire in the archaeological record, and a staple of Roman construction in both cities and rural areas, particularly in Italy. However, in areas farther away from the Italian core areas, tiles have a genealogy independent of this very ‘Roman’ material both prior and during the Roman period. This is particularly evident in the eastern parts of the Empire.

    This paper will discuss the use of...

  10. Chapter 7 Taskscapes in a cityscape – the relocation of secular and religious activities in Late Antique Athens (pp. 114-124)
    Arja Karivieri

    In this short paper I will discuss how changes in the cultural, religious and legal environment of an ancient city may be reflected in the cityscape: in the archaeological remains and the material history of the city. I will explore how changes in the religious landscape of a city may be manifested, specifically in Late Antique Athens, where the activity areas of the city were redefined after AD 267 when a Gothic tribe, the Heruli, sacked the city. Athens was not the only centre the Heruli invaded but they caused destruction also in several other Greek cities. The destruction caused...

  11. Chapter 8 Materialised taskscapes? Mesolithic lithic procurement in Southern Norway (pp. 125-150)
    Astrid J. Nyland

    In this article I explore the task of lithic procurement during the Mesolithic in southern Norway. Procurement could, in addition to being seen as a pragmatic task, be perceived as a means of expressing relationships to a lived-in land, demonstrating social ties between people of hunter-gatherer-fisher based communities, and used to illustrate broader links to an ancestral past. Hence, lithic procurement is understood as a process of situated actions that express the role and significance of socially constructed taskscapes. I argue that chronological developments and differentiation in the uses of quarry sites and other rock sources reflect a process of...

  12. Chapter 9 Stone and social circles: taskscape and landscape survey at Yadlee Stone Circle (pp. 151-170)
    Tom Gardner, Alexander Westra, Alexander Wood and Colton Vogelaar

    Tim Ingold (1993, 172) concluded his paper ‘The Temporality of the Landscape’ by stating that it had not been therein concerned with the methods or results of archaeological enquiry, but in defining his view of the study of archaeology. This paper will begin where Ingold left off, by investigating how an appreciation of taskscapes can be translated into a field survey methodology for archaeologists.

    By considering taskscape theory as a research methodology, and applying it in the form of a field survey of the valley hollow surrounding Yadlee Stone Circle in the Scottish Lammermuirs (Moor 2009), the authors have been...

  13. Chapter 10 Diachronic powerscapes: a case study from Odda, Norway (pp. 171-189)
    Anne Drageset

    The past’s relationship to the landscape has unmistakably been involved with its power structures. Building on Michel Foucault’s (1986, 252) notion that ‘space is fundamental in any exercise of power’, the present paper will explore variations in power structures and social relations in the landscape. The text shifts between two temporal and social contexts, namely the Early Iron Age and a 20th century industrial community. The questions motivating my research are: What significance did the landscape play when constructing an Early Iron Age barrow? Could some of the same features be said to have been exploited also in more recent...

  14. Chapter 11 Temporality in a Maori landscape: the progression of inter-related activities over 400 years in the Hauraki Plain, New Zealand (pp. 190-214)
    Caroline Phillips

    Timothy Ingold defined temporality as being the passage of time in which a series of events, activities or taskscapes ‘encompass a pattern of retensions from the past and protentions for the future’ (Ingold 1993, 157). This is more than just a cultural sequence, as it involves the understanding of how space was socially constructed through a network of inter-related rhythms and events. Both Ingold (1993) and Christopher Tilley (1994) explored how to better incorporate a cultural viewpoint into the understandings of landscape. Their aims were to adopt ‘a dwelling perspective’, according to which the landscape is constituted as an ‘enduring...

  15. Chapter 12 Sámi sacred places in ritual taskscapes (pp. 215-235)
    Tiina Äikäs

    The Sámi are the indigenous people who have traditionally lived in the northern parts of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and in the Kola Peninsula. This wide area contains not just one, but many different Sámi cultures, separated, for example, by ten different Sámi languages (Saarikivi 2011, 78). In historical times too, the cultures, religious beliefs and concepts of the individual groups have varied, though there are shared ideas, such as the central role of sacred landscapes, natural elements and places (Rydving 1993; Äikäs 2011) and the reciprocal relationship people had with the spirits and gods that a ff ected their...

  16. Chapter 13 The secret taskscape: implications for the study of Cold War activities (pp. 236-251)
    Bob Clarke

    When Tim Ingold wrote ‘The Temporality of the Landscape’, published in 1993, it was against a backdrop of emergent political change across the world. Whilst this was purely coincidental it has, nonetheless provided the contemporary archaeologist with a series of lines of investigation from which later historic periods can be studied and interpreted. Ingold (1993, 152) reminds us that ‘the landscape is constituted as an enduring record of – and testimony to – the lives and works of past generations’. This is brought into sharp focus when one considers the lifecycle of an activity or organisation that leaves behind evidence of its...

  17. Chapter 14 Excavating a taskscape, flowscape and ceramiscene in the Black Country (pp. 252-267)
    Matt Edgeworth

    This paper narrates the story of an archaeological excavation of a pottery production site as it unfolded through time. The site was on the outskirts of the historic core of the town of Wednesbury in the Black Country. A team from Birmingham University Field Archaeology unit carried out the work in a two month period from September to November, 2006, in advance of the construction of a filling station and supermarket.

    The concept of the taskscape (Ingold 1993) is well-known and needs little introduction. As Ingold states: ‘just as the landscape is an array of related features, so – by analogy...

  18. Chapter 15 Concluding remarks: landscape, taskscape, life (pp. 268-282)
    Julian Thomas

    It is fascinating to read Tim Ingold’s reflections on writing ‘The Temporality of the Landscape’ (1993), more than 20 years after the event. His article was originally published at a time when archaeologists were vigorously debating the concept of landscape (see Ashmore and Knapp 1999; Bender 1993; 1998; Tilley 1994). Ingold shows how his reflections on landscape principally responded to developments within his home discipline of social anthropology, and yet he chose to present them in an archaeological journal. As Rajala and Mills (this volume) demonstrate, he found a receptive audience, and the notion of ‘taskscape’ that was introduced in...