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Phenomenology in practice: Towards a methodology for a 'subjective' approach

Hamilton, S; Whitehouse, R; Brown, K; Combes, P; Herring, E; Thomas, MS; (2006) Phenomenology in practice: Towards a methodology for a 'subjective' approach. European Journal of Archaeology , 9 (1) pp. 31-71. 10.1177/1461957107077704.

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The article deals with the practice of phenomenological archaeological fieldwork, which is concerned with sensory experience of landscapes and locales. Phenomenological approaches in archaeology have cast light on aspects of past human experience not addressed by traditional archaeological methods. So far, however, they have neither developed explicit methodologies nor a discussion of methodological practice and have laid themselves open to accusations of being 'subjective' and 'unscientific'. This article describes and explores three experiments in phenomenological archaeology developed in the context of the Tavoliere-Gargano Prehistory Project and carried out on Neolithic settlement sites of the type known as villaggi trincerati. Our aims are both to develop explicit methods for this type of fieldwork and to combine phenomenology with other more traditional approaches, such as those concerned with technological, economic and environmental aspects of landscapes and sites. Our work also differs from other phenomenological archaeology in its concern with familiar, everyday experience and domestic contexts, rather than exceptional, special experience in ritual contexts. We consider how our particular approach might be used to further understandings of past lives. Copyright © 2006 SAGE Publications.

Type: Article
Title: Phenomenology in practice: Towards a methodology for a 'subjective' approach
DOI: 10.1177/1461957107077704
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1347578
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