Archaeology of Transformation: Changing Scapes

Please join us for a TAG-Sponsored Workshop at the University of Chicago
Held Virtually
Friday, October 21, 2022
9:00 am – 4:00 pm CSTRegister at:
In the face of sudden, large-scale social and environmental changes, it can be easy to neglect the gradual and less visible changes that create the conditions for both crisis and positive transformations. Theoretical archaeologists have recently turned to a proliferation of “scapes,” extending ways of thinking that originated in landscape archaeology to other spheres such as “seascapes,” “knowledgescapes,” and “objectscapes,” among many others. Yet the utility of generating so many “scapes” has been called into question.

Does the plurality of scapes offer a way to explore different loci of human experience, or does it unduly fracture the world into distinct domains, each with its own “scape”?  Other critiques have addressed importing the landscape concept’s visual bias and its peculiar ways of understanding historical change. Can we move past these constraining connotations and employ “scapes” to think about longer term, gradual transformations and temporality? What do we gain by defining different “scapes,” and what types of information might we lose? This conference will explore these questions in order to understand the value of scapes in focusing archaeological attention toward long-scale change.

Workshop Schedule:
Welcome and Introduction – 9:00 am
Proliferating Scapes – Pluralization or Fracture? – 9:10 – 10:30 am
Accessing Invisible Scapes – 10:40 am – 12:00 pm
Place and Displacement – 1:00 pm – 2:20 pm
Epistemology, Witnessing, and Power – 2:30 pm -3:10 pm
Final Discussion

For details on papers and presenters, please visit the TAG website.

Questions can be directed to workshop co-organizers: Anna Berlekamp (, Nikki Grigg (, Daniel Hansen (, and Luiza Osorio G. Silva (