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Land-Use and Medieval Agrarian Societies: Breaking the Dichotomy of Periphery and Core in Apulia, Southern Italy

Abstract : This research focuses on the territories of Meridional Apulia (Southern Italy) in the Early Middle Ages. A diachronic study was carried out into the transformation of agrarian landscapes in a 401 km² zone, East of Taranto, encompassing the fields, the agrarian margins and settlement vestiges. Among other things, excavations have accounted for the archaeological value of tall, drystone walls (paretoni) as sedimentary contexts and territory markers. The emergence of an economic basin centred on Manduria appeared from the 5th century B.C.E onwards. From that time on, the nature of the substratum indicates the settlement location and the agricultural choices, though different settlement patterns and agrarian systems have been replacing each other since then. Thus, Taranto and Brindisi emphasised the distribution of space towards the harbours linked to the world-economy specific to the Late Antique period. Later, in the 8th century, the changes affecting the road network illustrated the central role played by Oria, which gained a strategic position in Longobardian Apulia, in terms of resource exploitation. At the same time, the city ruled over the Brindisi plain and demarcated its territorial limits towards Taranto. In the 9th century, together with the recapture by the Byzantines, a dense network of rural settlements emerged; as regards olive production, its expansion has been attested by anthracology.
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Contributor : Giovanni Stranieri <>
Submitted on : Monday, July 9, 2018 - 4:05:21 PM
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Giovanni Stranieri. Land-Use and Medieval Agrarian Societies: Breaking the Dichotomy of Periphery and Core in Apulia, Southern Italy. Archaeological Approaches to Breaking Boundaries: Interaction, Integration and Division. Proceedings of the Graduate Archaeology at Oxford Conference 2015-2016, 2016, Oxford, United Kingdom. pp.259-266. ⟨halshs-01833394⟩



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