Critical Physical Geography in Practice: Landscape Archaeology

  • Daniel Knitter
  • Wiebke Bebermeier
  • Jan Krause
  • Brigitta Schütt


Landscape archaeology is an emerging interdisciplinary field where researchers from humanities and sciences investigate human/environment interactions and interrelations as well as human perceptions of the environment. It is closely related to Critical Physical Geography except that the investigated humans are long gone. Insights about past societies and their relations to the environment are only indirectly accessible via material traces. We present different challenges when interpreting such material remains that are produced by coupled eco-social systems. In order to tackle these challenges, critical physical geographic thinking is necessary that iteratively questions the application of methods from physical and social science, their data selection and interpretation of results in order to arrive at a comprehensive, transdisciplinary understanding of long gone societies within their environment.


Critical Physical Geography Landscape Archaeology Saturation Overland Flow Landscape Sensitivity Northeast Jordan 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors are grateful to the Excellence Cluster Topoi (EXC 264)—The Formation and Transformation of Space and Knowledge in Ancient Civilizations—for supporting this study. Furthermore, we want to thank landscape archaeologists Thusitha Wagalawatta and Julia Meister for drawing Figs. 9.2 and 9.4. We want to thank Rebecca Lave and Stuart Lane for their helpful and constructive comments that improved this contribution.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Knitter
    • 1
  • Wiebke Bebermeier
    • 2
  • Jan Krause
    • 2
  • Brigitta Schütt
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of GeographyChristian-Albrechts-Universität zu KielKielGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Geographical Sciences, Freie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany

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