Landscape Archaeology: An Introduction

147 TUTOR: Mark Bowden

This introductory course will cover the scope and achievements of landscape studies in archaeology. We will explore the approaches and methods used by landscape archaeologists, from traditional techniques to the employment of modern high-tech equipment. We will also look at interpretation and the results that can be obtained in understanding the development of the landscape from the Neolithic period to the present day. All aspects will be illustrated by case studies, mostly from England but sometimes ranging further afield. Two short trips to local places of archaeological interest will enable discussion in the field.

1 PM
PM course

Course Notes

Session 1: From John Aubrey to WG Hoskins and beyond: the history of landscape archaeology

Session 2: Field visit: the Avebury World Heritage Site

Session 3: From plane tables to drones: approaches and methods for studying the historic landscape

Session 4: Field visit: White Horse Hill

Session 5: 'The richest historical record': interpreting and understanding landscapes

Background reading list

Aston, Mick 1985 Interpreting the Landscape Batsford: London

Bowden, Mark (ed) 1999 Unravelling the Landscape: an inquisitive approach to archaeology RCHME/Tempus: Stroud

Hoskins, WG 1955 The Making of the English LandscapeHodder & Stoughton: London (Subsequent revisions include an illustrated edition with introduction and notes by Christopher Taylor, 1988)

Muir, Richard 2000 The 'New' Reading the Landscape: fieldwork in landscape historyExeter University Press

Pryor, Francis 2011 The Making of the British Landscape: how we have transformed the land, from prehistory to today Penguin: London

Rackham, Oliver 1994 The Illustrated History of the CountrysideWeidenfeld & Nicolson: London

Essential equipment

Students should bring waterproof clothing and stout boots for the field trips.


Course Tutor

Mark Bowden

About Mark

Mark Bowden studied archaeology at Reading University and worked on various excavation projects and in museums. He joined the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments in 1986, becoming head of their Newcastle-upon-Tyne office before moving to lead their Swindon-based archaeological field team. He retired in 2020 as Head of Historic England's Archaeological Investigation Team for South and West England. He has published extensively on landscape archaeology and related topics. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and was Chair of the Landscape Survey Group from 2014 to 2020.

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All courses run for 5 days

WK 1 8 Jul - 12 Jul

WK 2 15 Jul - 19 Jul

WK 3 22 Jul - 26 Jul

WK 4 29 Jul - 2 Aug

Morning Courses

9.15AM to 12.15PM

Afternoon Courses

1.45PM to 4.30PM

All Day Courses

9.15AM to 4.30PM