Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory

BOOKS | 2014

6 April 2014

Spatial analysis and social spaces. Interdisciplinary approaches to the interpretation of prehistoric and historic built environments

Edited by Eleftheria Paliou, Undine Lieberwirth & Silvia Polla

Spatial analysis and social spaces. Interdisciplinary approaches to the interpretation of prehistoric and historic built environments

City: Berlin/Boston

Year: 2014

Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH

Series: Topoi - Berlin Studies of the Ancient World 18

Description: Hardback, viii & 320 p., colour & b/w figures in text


In recent years a range of formal methods of spatial analysis have been developed for the study of human engagement, experience and socialisation within the built environment. Many, although not all, of these emanate from the fields of architectural and urban studies, and draw upon social theories of space that lay emphasis on the role of visibility, movement, and accessibility in the built environment. These approaches are now gaining in popularity among researchers of prehistoric and historic built spaces and are given increasingly more weight in the interpretation of past urban environments.

This volume brings together contributions from a number of specialists in archaeology, social theory, architecture, and urban planning, who explore the theoretical and methodological frameworks associated with the application of established and novel spatial analysis methods in past built environments. The focus is mainly on more recent computer-based approaches, and techniques such as access analysis, visibility graph analysis, isovist analysis, agent-based models of pedestrian movement, and 3D visibility approaches. A number of common themes arise from this interdisciplinary approach: How can spatial analysis facilitate a better understanding of human engagement, experience and socialization in prehistoric and historic spaces? Can methodologies developed for the investigation of contemporary environments be successfully applied in archaeological contexts? What are the limitations of these approaches?

The volume examines the relationship between space and social life from many different perspectives, and provides many illuminating examples on the use of computer-based spatial analysis methods in the study of past environments. It will be of interest for archaeologists, social theorists, architects, urban planners and computer scientists.

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Preface [v]

Eleftheria Paliou, Introduction [1-18]
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Bill Hillier, Spatial analysis and cultural information: the need for theory as well as method in space syntax analysis [19-48]
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Quentin Letesson, From building to architecture: the rise of configurational thinking in Bronze Age Crete [49-90]
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Eleftheria Paliou, Visibility analysis in 3D built spaces: a new dimension to the understanding of social space [91-114]
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David Wheatley, Connecting landscapes with built environments: visibility analysis, scale and the senses [115-134]
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Constantinos Papadopoulos & Graeme Earl, Formal three-dimensional computational analyses of archaeological spaces [135-166]
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Kevin D. Fisher, Investigating monumental social space in Late Bronze Age Cyprus: an integrative approach [167-202]
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Piraye Hacıgüzeller & Ulrich Thaler, Three tales of two cities? A comparative analysis of topological, visual and metric properties of archaeological space in Malia and Pylos [203-262]
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John Bintliff, Spatial analysis of past built environment: houses and society in the Aegean from the Early Iron Age till the impact of Rome [263-276]
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Akkelies van Nes, Indicating street vitality in excavated towns. Spatial configurative analyses applied to Pompeii [277-296]
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Hanna Stöger, The spatial signature of an insula neighbourhood of Roman Ostia [297-316]
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List of contributors [317]

About the editors [319]


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