Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Urban Archaeology

  • Tadhg O’Keeffe
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_1422

Brief Definition of the Topic

The phrase urban archaeology is used to refer to the study of archaeology in towns or cities or oftowns or cities. The former, which is a rather narrow definition, describes the practice of archaeology in urban places, particularly “living” urban places (as distinct from towns and cities which were abandoned in the past and are ruinous). Distinguishing it from other branches of the discipline are the particular challenges posed by working in such contexts: excavation is usually in response to development – or redevelopment, more frequently – rather than research-driven, so the locations of sites for excavation and the areal sizes of those sites are determined by the agencies of development; the timetables are often restricted; the stratigraphies are usually very deep, even in cities of modern origin; and preservation is generally by record only. Urban archaeology thus defined is most commonly practiced in countries where legislation protects potential...

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Further Reading

  1. Clack, P. & C. Haselgrove. 1981. Approaches to the urban past (Occasional Paper 2). Durham: Department of Archaeology.Google Scholar
  2. Council of Europe. 1999. Report on the situation of urban archaeology in Europe. Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publications.Google Scholar
  3. Green, A. 2006. Introduction: urban historical archaeology: challenging ambivalence, in A. Green & R. Leech (ed.) Cities of the world 1500-2000: 1-14. Leeds: Maney.Google Scholar
  4. Leone, M. 2005. The archaeology of liberty in an American capital: excavations in Annapolis. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  5. Mayne, A. & T. Murray. (ed.) 2001. The archaeology of urban landscapes: explorations in slumland. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Museum of London. 2010. Tracks through time: archaeology and history from the East London Line Project. London: MOLA.Google Scholar
  7. O’Keeffe, T. & R. Yamin. 2006. Urban historical archaeology, in D. Hicks and M. Beaudry (ed.) The Cambridge companion to historical archaeology: 87-103. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Rothschild, N. & D. Di Zeraga Wall. 2007. Urban archaeology, in D. Pearsall (ed.) Encyclopedia of archaeology: 2164-171. San Diego: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  9. Sinclair, P.J., G. Nordquist, F. Herschend & C. Isendahl. (ed.) 2010. The urban mind: cultural and environmental dynamics (Studies in Global Archaeology 15). Uppsala: Uppsala University.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ArchaeologyUniversity College DublinBelfieldDublinRepublic of Ireland