Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Urban Archaeology in Twenty-First Century Perspective

  • Rebecca Yamin
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_1617

Introduction and Definition

Cities are among humankind’s most complex creations. To do archaeology in a city is to probe into a complicated past that leaves a complicated record. The mere act of excavation is no small challenge, and the analysis of the wealth of data recovered is an even greater one. An entire city may be thought of as an individual site or it may be broken down into a multitude of sites – individual properties that have changed hands, and possibly shape, many times and been used for many different purposes.

Although the archaeology of cities is not new and, in fact, is one of the oldest fields of endeavor – think, for instance, of Rome, Ur, or Teotihuacan where some of the discipline’s pioneers concentrated their energies – doing archaeology in younger cities is different and is the focus of this entry.

This kind of urban archaeology is in great part the result of historic preservation laws which require the investigation of places within cities that are slated for...
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References

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Further Reading

  1. Bain, A. 1998. A seventeenth century beetle fauna from colonial Boston. Historical Archaeology 32: 38–48.Google Scholar
  2. Henry, S.L. 1987. A chicken in every pot: the urban subsistence pattern in turn-of-the century Phoenix, Arizona., in E. Staski (ed.) Living in cities, current research in urban archaeology (Society for Historical Archaeology Special Publication series 5): 19–28. Pleasant Hill (CA): Society for Historical Archaeology.Google Scholar
  3. Kelso, G.K. 1998. Pollen analysis of the feature 4 privy at the Cross Street Back Lot Site, Boston, MA. Historical Archaeology 32: 49–62.Google Scholar
  4. Mrozowski, S. 1987. Exploring New England’s evolving urban landscape, in E. Staski (ed.) Living in cities: current research in urban archaeology (Society for Historical Archaeology Special Publication series 5): 1–9. Pleasant Hill (CA): Society for Historical Archaeology.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.John Milner Associates, Inc.West ChesterUSA