Making Human Space: The Archaeology of Trails, Paths, and Roads

Publication: Landscapes of Movement

Author: James Snead, Clark Erickson, & Andrew Darling

Date of Publication: December 2010

PDF File: Snead-et-al.-2010-1.-Making-Human-Space-The-Archaeology-of-Trails-.pdf



Trails, paths, and roads are essential structures of the human landscape. They weave together the disparate elements of daily lives, bridging distance and obstacles to connect us to each other. James Weiner’s description of the paths made by the Foi people of New Guinea captures the complex relationships between space, place, and movement that these features articulate (1991). Trails, paths, roads, ways, tracks, trackways, and related phenomena represent landscapes of movement, a context for “getting there” that evolves through action and design, incorporating everything from the traces of daily strolls to the mailbox to continent-spanning superhighways. In the process their physical structures engage such diverse fields as engineering, knowledge systems, aesthetics, historical memory, and cosmology.