I found this diagram in a paper in an edition of Internet Archaeology ( http://intarch.ac.uk.eresources.shef.ac.uk/journal/issue16/5/toc.html ) entitled ‘Time and Experience: Taskscapes within GIS’ by Doortje Van Hove.
The author gives a rather gentle introduction into phenomenology within the first couple of pages of the article and how this gives us a better understanding of the daily life of the past. Then the problems of GIS as giving a static, ahistorical picture of an area in the past are recounted. Van Hove aims to use Ingold’s taskscape within GIS to overcome the shortcomings and synthesize these two methodologies to create a powerful more encompassing model from them.
Van Doortje does not seem to get the main point of the taskscape theory. It has to start with an embodied experience of place, this can’t exist before we go there, geogphically and more importantly mentally and geographically, and so is unlikely to exist in the CPU of a computer. Indeed using the flow diagram above removes us further from the evidence and creates if anything a less humanised, more processual reading. This is because by just entering some criteria into a computerised ‘phenomenological’ system will not give you an automatic reconstruction/experience of how past folk dwelled in their environment.
Perhaps when there is a more sensory encompassing use of computer modelling we might be able to use it to help theorise ancient landscapes but this will take a site by site particularisation and a nuanced approach and not the dry plugging in of elements to produce a generalised, systemic representation of the past.