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Archaeology of Transformation:

Changing Scapes

A TAG-Sponsored Workshop at the University of Chicago
(held virtually)
October 21, 2022

Submissions due: August 20th 2022

In the face of sudden, large-scale social and environmental changes, it can be easy to neglect the gradual and less visible changes that create the conditions for both crisis and positive transformations. Theoretical archaeologists have recently turned to a proliferation of “scapes,” extending ways of thinking that originated in landscape archaeology to other spheres such as “seascapes,” “knowledgescapes,” and “objectscapes,” among many others. Yet the utility of generating so many “scapes” has been called into question.

Does the plurality of scapes offer a way to explore different loci of human experience, or does it unduly fracture the world into distinct domains, each with its own “scape”?  Other critiques have addressed importing the landscape concept’s visual bias and its peculiar ways of understanding historical change. Can we move past these constraining connotations and employ “scapes” to think about longer term, gradual transformations and temporality? What do we gain by defining different “scapes,” and what types of information might we lose?

This conference will explore these questions in order to understand the value of scapes in focusing archaeological attention toward long-scale change.
Potential topics include:

Scapes as ways of knowing

Rapid change
Life cycles

Engagement with landscapes
Community engagement
Agency Creation vs. modification

Too many scapes?
Cityscapes    Soundscapes    Ritualscapes    Knowledgescapes    Taskscapes
Staticscape    Waterscapes    Icescapes    Smellscapes   

We invite submissions for 15 minute presentations, which will be grouped into sessions. Please include your:
Name, Title, Institution Paper title Abstract (250 words)

Please email your submissions to the co-organizers: Anna Berlekamp (, Nikki Grigg (, Daniel Hansen (, and Luiza Osorio G. Silva ( Also feel free to contact us in case of any questions.

Submissions due by August 20, 2022.