Dig Houses, Dwelling, and Knowledge Production in Archaeology


  • Colleen Morgan University of York
  • Daniel Eddisford Durham University




dig house, expedition house, history of archaeology, contemporary archaeology, dwelling, Çatalhöyük


Dig houses are where archaeologists dwell during excavations. These accommodations vary as broadly as their accompanying archaeological sites and are integral to the experience of archaeological investigation. Even as interest in embodied approaches to archaeology become popular, dig houses remain invisible in academic literature. In this article we examine the impact of the lived environment on archaeological research. To provide context to this study, we briefly discuss the history of dig houses in archaeological practice, then describe modern accommodations used during excavations. Building on this background, we then review phenomenological and architectural approaches to understanding the impact of the built environment on academic research. This understanding will then be used for a specific case study—the life-history of a small building called the “Chicken Shed” at Çatalhöyük. Finally, we discuss the conclusions of our research: how dig houses impact the construction of the past and how to situate them as places to think, collaborate, and critique archaeological practice.


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Author Biographies

Colleen Morgan, University of York

Colleen Morgan is the EUROTAST Marie Curie Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of York.

Daniel Eddisford, Durham University

Daniel Eddisford is currently the Fieldwork Director of the Origins of Doha Project (UCL Qatar).


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How to Cite

Morgan, C., & Eddisford, D. (2015). Dig Houses, Dwelling, and Knowledge Production in Archaeology. Journal of Contemporary Archaeology, 2(1), 169–193. https://doi.org/10.1558/jca.v2i1.22331



Research Article