Most cities of the Mediterranean are the outcome of long‐lasting settlement, in some cases extending back thousands of years. Their individual histories are marked by stages of development, stability, recession, renewed growth, and in some cases abandonment and resettlement. The economic, political, and social dynamics that drive these processes may be related to environmental factors, such that in urban contexts, the archaeological and geological records are deeply interconnected. The development of methodological approaches suitable for the combined interpretation of geological and archaeological evidence in urban contexts represents one of the most promising branches of geoarchaeological research (Butzer, 2008). Some authors (Colombo, Riba, Reguant, Virgili, & Rivero, 2013) refer to this subdiscipline as “anthropostratigraphy,” based on the extension of the geoarchaeological method to the well‐developed field of “urban archaeology.” The expansion of our theoretical and methodological foundations into understanding human‐engineered landscapes is the focus of this special issue. Several of the articles developed out of the Urban Geoarchaeology session offered during the workshop titled “Opening the Past 2013. Archaeology of the Future: Predictivity, Open Data, Open Access, and Geoarchaeology” that took place in Pisa, Italy, in June 2013. The workshop represented the final step of the European Union funded MAPPA Project (Methodologies Applied to the Predictivity of the Archaeological Potential; https://www.mappaproject.org), aimed at developing a predictive map of archaeological potential for urban and periurban areas in Pisa, based on an original mathematical model. An interdisciplinary approach was the hallmark of this project, in which archaeologists, geologists, and mathematicians worked together under the leadership of Maria Letizia Gualandi. The theme addressed in the workshop was the reconstruction of buried urban landscapes. The individual (city‐specific) projects were funded by both academic research and heritage planning interests. Even though the thread of the contributions was regional, they offered, arguably, the most comprehensive overview of the range of ancient urban landscapes in the world, if only because the Mediterranean hub was either the source, or at the crossroads, of urban developments since the dawn of complex societies, or city states, in the mid‐third millennium B.C.E. Urban landscape reconstructions were generated on the strength of interdisciplinary approaches that coupled archaeological with geological methodologies including remote sensing, digital elevation and 3D modeling, computer and geographic information system‐based syntheses, and multispectral satellite imagery. Results showed that as early as the Greek and Roman periods, urban planners were cognizant of alluviation cycles, marine transgressions, and erosional patterns in designing and modifying infrastructure in support of changing urban settlement and land‐use patterns. The breadth of the conference papers and the convergence of theoretical and methodological objectives led session organizers to extend invitations to additional researchers in the greater Mediterranean area. The nine case studies provided in this special issue (Figure 1) are tangible examples of how specific cities of the Mediterranean adapted to natural catastrophes, economic concerns, and climate change, and its environmental ramifications, as well as administrative challenges during various periods in each city's evolution. The advent of urban planning and bureaucracies that created and reconfigured infrastructures, created landscape signatures both above and below ground that were geared to the interests of state‐based organization. Geoarchaeology may be the most useful approach in documenting and reconstructing such infrastructures because of the complex interdigitations of cultural, geological, and geomorphic features and sediment complexes.
|Titolo:||Urban Geoarchaeology in the Mediterranean Basin (special issue of Geoarchaeology)|
|Anno del prodotto:||2018|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||7.1 Curatela|