Thursday, September 20, 2018 at 4:30pm
Goldwin Smith Hall, 142
232 East Ave, Central Campus
Monumental Building, Monumental Labor: Energetics in Archaeology
Abstract: Architecture is, most directly, the labor expended in its construction. While simple back-of-the-envelope estimates of construction labor have long appeared in studies of Bronze Age architecture, especially, recent developments in computer assisted drafting, mapping, and digital quantification have facilitated the creation of considerably more sophisticated, environmentally-grounded studies of comparative energy exchanges, or energetics, deployed by the manual labor and construction of pre-industrial architecture. This paper reviews the development of energetics as a methodology – from Leibniz to Elliott Abrams’ seminal 1989 essay in the Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory – alongside the presentation of new case studies of Late Antique and medieval building, with a discussion of energetics’ future potential.