Why Study Archaeology on the Island of Lanzarote,
Part of the Canary Islands?
Most of the island is an abandoned landscape—a place people tried to settle, but left. This leaves archaeological features in place, where they were hundreds of years ago, so we can interpret them. Another reason is that the archaeological features are visible. You don’t have to fight through vegetation; you can see them right on the surface. Lanzarote has an obvious archaeological record; you don’t have to do a lot of excavation. The goal is to get the big picture, and you can’t do that by looking at tiny bits of landscape.
A Great Moment in the Field:
The aha moment on Easter Island came when we learned how to recognize rock gardens, which we thought were just random fields of stone. As a result of excavations, we learned what the landscape was really like; after thinking for many years that the rocks were random and natural, we realized that the whole island was artificial. Before that, we had been walking from site to site and ignoring everything in between. Now, we map the sites, but we also map the rock gardens in between. It completely changed Easter Island archaeology.