there are some greater philosophical applications of the term “intentionality” that I won’t get into, but to me, as an archaeologist, the concept forces me to ask of architecture and archaeological sites and landscapes, ” what am I looking at today, was it planned that way, and is it the remnant of a singular concept or an imbricated mess”?
For example, did Spanish city planners really envision Bourbon St. as a mecca of hedonism or a magnet for mid-western tourists? What about all this adaptive reuse of historic structures? The condos in the old cotton warehouse, or the shopping mall in the ole’ textile mill? Intent in architecture can sometimes belie subsequent utilization. Now, take this concept and apply it to Archaic mound sites, Woodland mounds, and the Mississippian mound sites that showed up thousands of years subsequently? or to the Indians who showed up at Jaketown thousands of years too late and still started building mounds anyhow. Whats up with that?

In the Amazon, scholars attribute increased alpha diversity to anthropogenic features, like mounds, ditches, berms, and causeways, but we need to ask when these features were built and if they are coeval or palimpsests, and were they made to increase alpha diversity or were other technomic, socio-tecnic, and/or ideotecnic (old school language) functions at play?

I dont know. I think micro-scale chronological control can help with these questions. So can good maps and lots of excavation. More work is needed.


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