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The Cerbalus project: landscape archaeology in the Cervaro river valley

Volpe, Valeria (2020) The Cerbalus project: landscape archaeology in the Cervaro river valley. Advisor: Catoni, Prof. Maria Luisa. Coadvisor: Tosco, Prof. Carlo Mario . pp. 504. [IMT PhD Thesis]

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The ‘Cerbalus project: landscape archaeology in the Cervaro river valley’ was conceived as a landscape archaeology research project, for the investigation of the Cervaro river valley, located at the borders of Apulia and Campania, in Southern Italy. The ultimate objective was to reconstruct and narrate the ‘biography’ of this inner, hilly, sub-Apennine landscape, grasping the persistent elements of identity, the long-lasting territorial marks, and the deep transformations that arose in specific moments during its historic evolution. Thus, through the application of a holistic approach based on the integration of different sources, in a diachronic and global perspective, both the “histoire événementielle” and the ‘micro-histories’ of the rural human communities settled in the area throughout the centuries, with their economic and settlement strategies, were emphasized. Field surveys data, ancient sources, epigraphs, Medieval chartae, archival charters, ancient and modern cartography, remote sensing and paleoenvironmental data were all taken into consideration for the reconstruction of this landscape’s evolution, from Prehistory to Norman era. The main results of the research refer to an increase of the dataset of the historic and archaeological data; to the methodology and sources used; and to the archaeological and historical discussions in a previously uncharted territory. Indeed, not only the archaeological records of the Cervaro valley was enriched, from a quantitative and qualitative point of view, but also the combined use of field, archival, and desktop-based data allowed for the acquisition of a wide set of information, that will also serve as tools for future developments of the research. In this work, several historical and archaeological issues are debated, with a particular attention towards specific turning points: the absence of a strong and hegemonic Daunian center in the valley and the prevalent Samnite cultural component, in the archaic period; the inscription of the community of Vibinum in the Galeria Tribe — mainly attested in Irpinia rather than in Apulia — ; the foundation of the Roman colony probably during Sulla Age as a military stronghold; the archaeological absence of the Byzantine power in town and in the countryside, and the prevalence of Lombard’s authority. Moreover, an analysis of settlement patterns, field-system morphologies, administrative control, resource production, and infrastructural activity over time was conducted, outlining the main development trends, between persistence and discontinuity. The analysis of the evolution of landscape and settlement patterns of this inner and boundary area allowed also to reconsider the concept of marginality which burdened the entire sub-Apennine area in the recent past, as a consequence of depopulation and social and economic recession. In this respect, this research may serve also public utility, for cultural landscape preservation, future landscape planning and the development of cultural tourism.

Item Type: IMT PhD Thesis
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
PhD Course: Analysis and Management of Cultural Heritage
Identification Number: 10.6092/imtlucca/e-theses/320
NBN Number: urn:nbn:it:imtlucca-27034
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2020 10:02
URI: http://e-theses.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/320

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