1 Home Turf: Archaeology, Territoriality, and Politics



Archaeological studies of political life have often assumed that the control of territory is an inherent aspect of social power, particularly within complex polities. Frustration with the rigid territorialism of archaeological approaches to politics has fostered enthusiasm for alternative models of political space, including networks. While we concur with this frustration, we argue that territorial models should still be integral to archaeological studies of political landscapes. However, archaeologists should reframe the control of territory as one of many modalities through which authority can be claimed and reproduced and focus attention on variability in territorial patterns and processes. In this introduction, we review previous approaches to territoriality in anthropology and corollary fields, outline dimensions of variability in territorial behaviors and institutions, and provide a foundation for the series of essays in this volume, which collectively seek to invigorate the study of territoriality in anthropological archaeology. [territoriality, archaeological theory, landscape archaeology]