Session: #185

Theme & Session Format

Interpreting the archaeological record: artefacts, humans and landscapes
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Power and Satisfaction of Needs in Centres of Power
Profane centres of power (castles, cities and other places of reign) form striking signs in a landscape. Their elements, forms and functions are often the subject of archaeological and historical investigations concerning the topography of power. The objects found at these sites however played a subordinate role in terms of their significance in the specific landscape and the associated network of power. In the first instance this applies to the communication of power, but also for economic aspects such as the satisfaction of needs. These are subject to diverging social, economic or ecological requirements of varying degree and intensity. The satisfaction of needs forms the basis for social action. Possible questions that can be discussed during the session relate to spatial aspects ("where"), which actors are involved ("who?") and why specific artefacts occur in an environment ("why?")? Possible contributions can focus on research questions at the micro level (the individual and social groups in the seat of power) and at the macro level (location, transport, economy, organization, etc.). How is the site of power integrated into the surrounding area and what influence does the surrounding area exert (keywords: traffic situation, economic and ecological conditions, range of influence, rank of the ruler)? In addition to the comprehensive analysis of artefacts and object groups, spatial analyses (viewsheds and network analysis), the application of methods from landscape archaeology, architectural analyses and the comparison to written and image sources are of great interest for this session. We kindly invite you to submit proposals that introduce these or similar theory-based analyses.
center of power, satisfaction of needs, network of power, communication, economic requirements, ecological requirements
Session associated with MERC:
Session associated with CIfA:
Session associated with SAfA:
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Session associated with DGUF:
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Main organiser:
Claudia Prof. Dr. Theune (Austria) 1
Rainer Atzbach (Denmark) 2
1. University of Vienna, Dep. Prehistory and Historical Archaeology
2. Aarhus University, School of Culture and Society