Urban Archaeology and New Techniques

(Willem BEEX / Benno RIDDERHOF, The Netherlands)

The past 20 years a lot has changed in Urban Archaeology. It absolutely became a mature and specialized branch within the discipline of Archaeology, due to an often unique complexity in stratigraphy in combination with an abundance of finds. As a logical result of this, it  has become very difficult to produce publications beyond the descriptive level.

The latter is a shame of course. During the past 10 years a lot of new techniques, theories and methods applicable to Urban Archaeology have been developed in individual institutions and departments not only in Europe but also beyond. Unfortunately these have not yet found their way into the analysis of urban environments.

And this is even more a shame as modern Urban Archaeologists (whose focus ranges from the earliest urban settlements to postmodern city planning) quite correctly see their work not only as “organizing excavations”, but also in preserving Cultural Heritage, as well as in documenting Industrial Archaeology, Town-planning, etc.

Therefore we would like to invite all colleagues working with or within Urban Archaeology to submit a paper on their new techniques, theories or methods they use for the analysis of the historical and archeological urban record. We are confident, that many brilliant solutions for almost each problem are already available, but perhaps remain relatively unknown to many archaeologists.  While Brno has figured it out, Amsterdam knows nothing or vice versa.

Feel free to submit a paper on the following subjects: Theories about the growth and decline of cities; Dealing with historical documents; Dendrochronoly; Climatic Statistics; New methods in using old maps and documents; Archives; Managing large databases; Problems in dealing with the multiperiodicity in urban development ; Using mathematical principles in Urban Archaeology, etc.