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Research and education for an archeology of the
landscape in Lunigiana
Monica Baldassarri e Enrica Salvatori
Rural History...
2013 – Research group
•  Course of Storia degli Insediamenti Tardo Antichi e Medievali at the
University of Pisa (Late Ant...
The place – Castiglioncello, Lunigiana
•  a small, but representative, space
of inner Lunigiana, related to the
town of Ca...
Backgrounds
Two scientific backgrounds, historical and archaeological, which are
meant to be harmoniously combined in order...
Land Registry
Limits
In the Land Registry there are:
• individual asset of each owner in term of land’s features, boundaries and
economi...
Microtoponyms
Not easy to understand /solve for:
•  Different writings
•  Position of the article and prepositions (dialec...
Microtoponyms and Memory
Transmission of knowledge / memory:
- From 1551 to Catasto Leopoldino (1835): 53%
- From 1551 to ...
Microtoponyms and Settlements
•  Few toponyms from roman time or high middle ages
•  Most of them are from latin or italic...
Polycultural Agricolture
•  From toponyms & fiscal statements
•  An intense polycultural agriculture from1551 to 1950
•  Mi...
The use of a GIS
Common Goods – Density Models
Consortium – Density Models
Ecclesiastical Assets – Density Models
Some preliminary conclusions
•  All the settlements documented in 1551 are still there, and they all
are - even in a state...
The archaeological survey:
a census of rural architecture
The archaeological field work in this first phase - very short in ...
The archaeological survey
From the Middle Ages…
Offiano and Regnano with their ecclesiastical buildings have shown to be
am...
The archaeological survey
… through the Modern Age
Almost all these nucleated settlement seem to have been founded on the
...
The archaeological survey
Some other (few) rural settlements seem to be founded and developed from
the XVI century onward ...
Some preliminary conclusions
•  Most part of civil buildings appear to be reconstructed from the
seventeenth century on, w...
The difference with the reaction to the recent
(2002-2010) earthquakes
Education and money
The marginalization of the area compared to the national context is
reflected by the low rate of scien...
Famous and neglected
In comparison with many studies that often insist on well known
historical or archaeological settleme...
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Research and education for an archeology of the landscape in Lunigiana

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Girona - Rural History 2015 - 7 settembre 2015

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Research and education for an archeology of the landscape in Lunigiana

  1. 1. Research and education for an archeology of the landscape in Lunigiana Monica Baldassarri e Enrica Salvatori Rural History Conference - Girona, 7 settembre 2015
  2. 2. 2013 – Research group •  Course of Storia degli Insediamenti Tardo Antichi e Medievali at the University of Pisa (Late Antiquity and Medieval Sites - Master degree in Archaeology). •  Two professor of history, one archaeologist, amateur historians, historian experts in GIS, and master students in Archaeology and History •  Need: no founds for a more structured and bigger research; •  Choice: for a different education, more concerned about Practice and Skills by –  reading and understanding medieval sources –  using a software to manage bibliographic items (Zotero) –  using a software for GIS (QGIS) building a geographical database –  participating to an archaeological survey –  writing a well made final paper about the research, almost ready to be published
  3. 3. The place – Castiglioncello, Lunigiana •  a small, but representative, space of inner Lunigiana, related to the town of Casola (Massa Carrara, Tuscany, Italy).
  4. 4. Backgrounds Two scientific backgrounds, historical and archaeological, which are meant to be harmoniously combined in order to produce a unified proposal of historical changes of the rural landscape. Plus a new inquiry • HISTORY: Land Registry (Catasto) of Castiglioncello -1551. It allows us to reconstruct part of the ownership structure, the types of crops, their distribution in the territory, its morphology, especially thanks to microtoponyms. • ARCHEOLOGY: surveys made in the late '70s by ISCUM (Institute for the History of the Material Culture – Genoa), over the same area: a valuable repository of photos and maps with classification and archaeological dating. • ORAL SOURCES: interviews to some elders (4 people).
  5. 5. Land Registry
  6. 6. Limits In the Land Registry there are: • individual asset of each owner in term of land’s features, boundaries and economic value • use of the land • morphology of the territory (several microtoponyms) There are not: • measures (extension) and location mapping • composition of the family • chattels (animals)
  7. 7. Microtoponyms Not easy to understand /solve for: •  Different writings •  Position of the article and prepositions (dialectal forms).
  8. 8. Microtoponyms and Memory Transmission of knowledge / memory: - From 1551 to Catasto Leopoldino (1835): 53% - From 1551 to elderly population : 58%. Then the Leopoldino land registry, a cartographic source of great historical value for Tuscany, recorded only a part of local microtoponyms that could and should be recovered only by confronting textual sources with oral interviews in field surveys (within 5-10 years maximum).
  9. 9. Microtoponyms and Settlements •  Few toponyms from roman time or high middle ages •  Most of them are from latin or italic origin and they have been fixed in the territory between the middle ages and the early modern age •  Not substantial additions after the sixteenth century. •  Very poor and dubious presence of anthroponyms and a relatively equal distribution of  phytotoponyms, hydronyms and geotoponyms. •  Rather high overall percentage of names indicating the use of the land and the manufacturing activities (20,72%) and the presence of the population (house, buildings roads 13,47% ): this is a clear evidence of an intensive human settlement, emerging, on the other hand, also from the land registry declarations of 1551.
  10. 10. Polycultural Agricolture •  From toponyms & fiscal statements •  An intense polycultural agriculture from1551 to 1950 •  Mixed use of the land. •  Difficult to distinguish among cultivations, harvesting and breeding: a large number of lands were actually used precisely for all these activities simultaneously or in different times of the year
  11. 11. The use of a GIS
  12. 12. Common Goods – Density Models
  13. 13. Consortium – Density Models
  14. 14. Ecclesiastical Assets – Density Models
  15. 15. Some preliminary conclusions •  All the settlements documented in 1551 are still there, and they all are - even in a state of serious neglect - still inhabited. •  The process of settlement is probably former to the sixteenth century, i.e. during the Middle Ages. •  A part of the property in 1551 (common goods, ecclesiastical assets) could be an “heritage” of a medieval organization of the land. •  The “use” of the land (polycultural agriculture) seems, likewise, a very stable feature of this territory
  16. 16. The archaeological survey: a census of rural architecture The archaeological field work in this first phase - very short in time - has been focused on the survey of rural architecture in order to study: -  chronology and type of the development of rural settlements in this area -  chronology and type of solutions of vernacular architecture -  relationship of settlements and their architecture with historical landscapes and environmental resources -  productive cycles and solutions adopted in buildings in Casola and in this part of Lunigiana
  17. 17. The archaeological survey From the Middle Ages… Offiano and Regnano with their ecclesiastical buildings have shown to be among the oldest medieval settlements in the area, together with the castle of Regnano. Interesting medieval traces in buildings and architectural elements reused in more recent construction are also in Regnano Villa, Castiglioncello, Montefiore villages and in the centre of Casola itself. Interesting data about demography between Late Middle A. e Modern A. Problem of presence/visibility of non-nucleated settlements or temporary architectures
  18. 18. The archaeological survey … through the Modern Age Almost all these nucleated settlement seem to have been founded on the highest hills of the area between the XII and the XIII century. Some villages (like Montefiore) shown a growth between XIV and XV century. They all have had a certain an extension in Modern Age, mostly in the XVII century and later, with signs of reconstructions stressed by new dated portals and reuse if erratic elements in the XVIII and XIX centuries. It is possible to date at the same period also the most part of the water mills documented in this area.
  19. 19. The archaeological survey Some other (few) rural settlements seem to be founded and developed from the XVI century onward on the lower slopes of the mountains. This is the case of Oliva, a small village already quoted in the Catasto of 1551 and probably built using some construction materials coming from the upper castle of Castiglioncello Interesting problem of what kind of resources have sustained this development from XII/XIII to XIX c. > utility of GIS to locate possibilities in the use of rural landscape and its environment
  20. 20. Some preliminary conclusions •  Most part of civil buildings appear to be reconstructed from the seventeenth century on, with a significant reconstructive activity during the eighteenth and nineteenth century. Among the different and competing reasons for this intense building activity we suggest the earthquakes, that have repeatedly hit the area in the past, followed by a remarkable reconstruction fervor, a sign of economic and social vitality and demographic resilience throughout the modern era and the beginning of the contemporary era •  All the settlements - nucleated - documented by the Land Registry of 1551 have been identified and all are - even in a state of serious neglect - still inhabited. The material data confirm that the process of settlement that founded the most part of them is former to the sixteenth century, probably in the central part and in the late centuries of the Middle Age, with few interesting exceptions.
  21. 21. The difference with the reaction to the recent (2002-2010) earthquakes
  22. 22. Education and money The marginalization of the area compared to the national context is reflected by the low rate of scientific studies dedicated to it, reduced by the difficulties in obtaining a minimum of economic and logistical support from a panorama of very small villages, not connected and damaged by natural disasters (earthquakes, floods). • Involving students could be a first interesting solution: better education, workforce for harvesting and analysing data • But: big work of revision (time consuming), not stable team
  23. 23. Famous and neglected In comparison with many studies that often insist on well known historical or archaeological settlements (in our region Pisa for example or Luni or Lucca) that are unlikely to change what we know about the past, we believe an interdisciplinary study of a marginal area, such as the inner Lunigiana, could offer very interesting novelties. Moreover, this may overturn the frameworks and allow the application of scientific research to truly affect the life of contemporary society by working together with local administration, population and associations in a really “public” research.

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