Methods, Techniques, Interpretations and Field Examples
Edited By Amina-Aïcha Malek
Part I A Short History of Garden Archaeology 19
Part I A Short History of Garden Archaeology Preamble What do archaeologists look for when looking for gardens? Amina-Aïcha MALEK Garden archaeology is not a distinct discipline, but rather a sub- discipline only now emerging among the numerous institutions and organizations that support the excavation and study of historic and prehistoric sites and artifacts. Instead, individual archaeologists at various times and places have stumbled upon or, sometimes, deliberately excavated gardens in their own research directed at various questions about the past. Those who have excavated gardens have encountered similar issues and have studily gathered since the late 20th century to compare issues and methodologies of garden archaeology regionally and now internationally. The following introductory chapter reviews some of the first archaeological projects deliberately engaged with garden archeology. These studies form the foundations upon which current and future work and, potentially, future organizations for garden archaeology may be developed. Scholars have approached the study of gardens from the perspective of “verbal and visual analysis” in order to understand their meaning and their development. But archaeological evidence also has proven to be an important source of information. Depending on the context (period, state of conservation of the site, development of techniques) archaeology enriches understandings of gardens based on texts and also contributes to the disclosure of new information that would not have been known solely by dependence on texts. The most spectacular example of the contribution of garden archaeology is the systematic archaeological exploration of the Roman gardens in the Vesuvian...
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