Chorography: history, theory and potential for archaeological research

Rohl, D. (2012) Chorography: history, theory and potential for archaeological research. In: Duggan, M., McIntosh, F. and Rohl, D., eds. TRAC 2011: Proceedings of the Twenty-First Annual Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference. TRAC Proceedings. Oxford: Oxbow Books. pp. 19-32 ISBN 9781842174999

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Chorography is a little-known field of theory and practice concerned with the significance of place, regional description/characterization, local history, and representation. A well-established discipline and methodology with demonstrable roots in antiquity and an important role in the development of antiquarian research, regional studies and the establishment of modern archaeology, chorography is useful for understanding the history of scholarship and may continue to provide sound theoretical principles and practical methods for new explorations of archaeological monuments and landscapes. This paper discusses the historical uses of chorography, beginning with practitioners from classical antiquity but emphasizing the uniquely British chorographic tradition of the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries. Attention is also given to more recent efforts at exploring this tradition by literary scholars, historiographers and archaeological theorists. Careful analysis of works of—and about—chorography allows for the explication of key theoretical principles and practical methods, which are presented and elaborated upon. It is argued that chorography offers a coherent, viable and valuable approach to evaluating the long-term significance of landscapes, monuments and regions, crossing conventional disciplinary divides and connecting past and present. The paper concludes with some thoughts on the benefits of chorography for contemporary research and its potential role in modern archaeology.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Chorography; place; deep-map; antiquarianism; landscape
Subjects: A General Works > AZ History of Scholarship. The Humanities > AZ0200 History
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CB History of civilization > CB History of Civilization (General) > CB0440 Relation to special topics > CB0450 Geography and civilization
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology > CC0072 Philosophy. Theory
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain > DA0020 England > DA0670 Local history and description
D History General and Old World > DE The Mediterranean Region. The Greco-Roman World
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General) > G0080 History of geography
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Humanities
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Depositing User: Dr Darrell J. Rohl
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2015 16:23
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2015 16:29

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00