NEW: Mapping the Past: From Sampling Sites and Landscapes to Exploring the ‘Archaeological Continuum’

Michel Dabas, Stefano Campana and Apostolos Sarris

, by Jean-Michel Colas

Session VIII-1 of UISPP 2018 in Paris ‘Mapping the Past’ brought together several contributions reflecting on the need to develop sustainable and reliable approaches to mapping our landscape heritage. The session was guided by the crucial concept termed the ‘archaeological continuum’. This concept can be defined as a proactive approach to landscape survey based on the summative evidence detected (or detectable) within the area under examination, reducing spatial and chronological gaps as far as possible through the intensive and extensive application of a wide variety of exploratory methods and analytical techniques. Research work across Europe as well as contributions presented in this session have demonstrated that it is now possible to explore the whole landscape of carefully chosen areas and study them as an archaeological continuum. Archaeological interpretations derived from this kind of approach can be expected to reveal different layers of information belonging to a variety of chronological horizons, each displaying mutual physical (stratigraphic) and conceptual relationships within that horizon. The raising of new archaeological questions and also the development of alternative conservation strategies directly stimulated by the radical ideas inherent in the concept of the ‘archaeological continuum’ are among the major outcomes of the session.