Session: #228

Theme & Session Format

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

Title & Content

Living on the Edge? New Advances on Peripheral Space in Prehistory
For a long time, the analysis of peripheral space in prehistoric societies was strongly connected to the core-periphery concept of Wallerstein’s world-system theory and thus became heavily focussed on one particular perspective. However, the emphasis has recently shifted towards more regional and local perspectives with studies focusing on particular economic, ecological or social aspects, facilitating multifaceted insights into areas that for a very long time were only peripheral to archaeological research.
So what happened in peripheral zones and how can we identify this archaeologically? Our session will bring together archaeologists, archaeobotanists, archaeozoologists, geoarchaeologists and archaeological scientists to discuss the current understanding of peripheral space in a diachronic perspective. We welcome papers on case studies, theoretical aspects, and overviews, focusing on economy (e.g. economic specialisation, diversification of subsistence economies, parallel economic systems), settlement and land-use patterns (resettlement, off-site data), environment, mobility and pastoralism, use and social organisation of space, and human interaction and contacts in and with peripheral areas.
The overall aim of this session is to review the current state of research on peripheral space in order to gain a deeper understanding into areas that – despite their marginal location – were central to prehistoric everyday life.
Periphery, Prehistory, Land-use, Settlement patterns
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Main organiser:
Claudia Gerling (Switzerland) 1
Silviane Scharl (Germany) 2
1. University of Basel
2. University of Cologne