People are drawn to places where geology performs its miracles: ice-cold spring waters gushing from the rock, mysterious caves which act as conduits for ancestors and divinities traveling back and forth to the underworld, sacred bodies of water where communities make libations and offer sacrifices. This volume presents a series of archaeological landscapes from the Iranian highlands to the Anatolian Plateau, and from the Mediterranean borderlands to Mesoamerica. Contributors all have a deep interest in the making and the long-term history of unorthodox places of human interaction with the mineral world, specifically the landscapes of rocks and water. Working with rock reliefs, sacred springs and lakes, caves, cairns, ruins and other meaningful places, they draw attention to the need for a rigorous field methodology and theoretical framework for working with such special places. At a time when network models, urban-centered and macro-scale perspectives dominate discussions of ancient landscapes, this unusual volume takes us to remote, unmappable places of cultural practice, social imagination and political appropriation. It offers not only a diverse set of case studies approaching small meaningful places in their special geological grounding, but also suggests new methodologies and interpretive approaches to understand places and the processes of place-making.
1. Introduction: Towards an Archaeology of Place (OEmur Harmansah) 2. A Place for Pilgrimage: The Ancient Maya Sacred Landscape of Cara Blanca, Belize (Lisa J. Lucero and Andrew Kinkella) 3. On Ancient Placemaking (Wendy Ashmore) 4. Origins and Fertility: Mesoamerican Caves in Deep Time (Thomas G. Garrison) 5. Topographies of Power: Theorizing the Visual, Spatial and Ritual Contexts of Rock Reliefs in Ancient Iran (Matthew Canepa) 6. Other Monumental Lessons (Ian Straughn) 7. Rock reliefs of ancient Iran: notes and remarks (Ali Mousavi) 8. The Significance of Place: Rethinking Hittite Rock Reliefs in Relation to the Topography of the Land of Hatti (Lee Ullmann) 9. Places in the Political Landscape of Late Bronze Age Anatolia (Claudia Glatz) 10. Living Rock and Transformed Space (Betsey A. Robinson) 11. Event, place, performance: Rock reliefs and spring monuments in Anatolia (OEmur Harmansah) 12. Ruins within ruins: site environmental history and landscape biography (Ben Marsh and Janet Jones) 13. Archaeological Landscapes, Pushed Towards Ruination (John F. Cherry) 14. (Dis)continuous Domains: A Case of`Multi-sited Archaeology' from the Peloponnesus, Greece (Christopher L. Witmore) 15. Moving On: A Conversation with Chris Witmore (Gavin Lucas)