Two Different Approaches to Settlement Theory

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Evaluate at least two different approaches to understanding patterns of past settlement in societies that you have studied

Introduction

When considering the different approaches that archaeologists use to understand past settlements there need to be clarity about the difference between settlement patterns and settlement systems. A settlement system can be understood as the patterns that human behaviour and cultural patterns leave within the landscape. In contrast a settlement pattern is a study of the distribution of artefacts or ecofacts within a particular space and time. To try and understand the different approaches available to archaeologists to analyse patterns of past settlements there needs to be consideration of settlement systems. Further to this archaeologists have adapted some economic and geographical models to analyse whether a settlement has some of the core signifiers: size, number, spatial distribution, religious or political structures. In this essay I intend to look…

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