Review of Peter A.J. Attema and Günter Schörner, Comparative Issues in the Archaeology of the Roman Rural Landscape: Site Classification Between Survey, Excavation and Historical Categories
Arts and Humanities
Classical Archaeology and Art History
Other History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology
This fine volume is a natural successor to the two fundamental Mediterranean field survey collections: Extracting Meaning from Ploughsoil Assemblages (R. Francovich, H. Patterson, and G. Barker, eds. [Oxford 2000]) and Side by Side Survey (S. Alcock and J. Cherry, eds. [Oxford 2004]). Its best essays illustrate the advances in both methodology and theory that have characterized landscape archaeology over the decade since those fundamental volumes were published. The volume takes up the problem of classification, that is, the interpretative and evidentiary basis by which surface survey material is functionally classified. Both intentionally and tacitly, the volume also illustrates the assumptions underlying all classificatory systems and thus the challenges surface survey faces as a stand-alone tool for historical interpretation.