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date: 18 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Stratigraphic excavation is perhaps the defining technique of archaeological research, since it is this approach that provides the necessary contextual information for all other forms of archaeological sampling. Rightly perceived as intensive in terms of labour, time, and resources, excavation seems at odds with the aims of developmental interventions that are often under pressure to produce rapid and sustainable solutions to immediate and ongoing environmental and human crises. Drawing on research in eastern Africa, this chapter will argue that some questions of relevance to developmental and conservationist debates can nevertheless only be answered through detailed stratigraphic data, and that these data are essential in order to construct models of landscape change and to assess the sustainability and resilience of these landscapes.

Keywords: applied archaeology, indigenous knowledge, traditional knowledge, indigenous technical knowledge, sustainability, resilience, stratigraphy, reverse engineering, archaeological modelling, agent-based modelling

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