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Summary of Proposal LAN2267

TitleThe use of High-Res SAR data for the reconstruction of ancient drove-roads in Southern Italy
Investigator Heitz, Christian - Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck, Institut für Archäologien
Team Member
Prof. Dr. Kistler, Erich - Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck, Institut für Archäologien
SummaryTheresearch project aims to provide new insights into the mechanismsof pastoral landuse in southern Italy from prehistory to Late Antiquity. Sincetranshumance at least from the time of the Roman republic on up into moderntimes (with its peak in the late Middle Ages and the early modern period) wasof pivotal importance in this area and shaped the natural as well as thecultural environment, it is very likely that it was also carried out in earliertimes. With a minute GIS mapping of anthropogenic sites, combined with naturalfeatures like springs, fords etc., the project aims to test and if possibleverify this hypothesis and to reconstruct early drove roads. Although thehistorical tracks are sometimes dozens of meters wide, also small paths likehollow ways, mostly less that 5m wide, have to be taken into account. This isonly possible with the high resolution of TerraSAR-X data (StripMap). Theproject will concentrate on an area that also in medieval times was thecrossroad region of transhumance (Molise, Puglia, northern Basilicata; roughly10.000 km²). The project isimbedded in a two year research projectconcerned with the the archaeology and cultural significance ofdrove-roads in Southern Italy funded by the FWF (Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichenForschung, Vienna) and its results will be presented on various conferences andin (geo)archaeological publications. By analysing landscape as a means ofintra- as well as intercultural contact zone determining in its differentutilisation the structure of societies as well as their encounter, the studywill reassess and challenge old models of cultural contact.

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