December 13th, 2017


Archaeology of Commons: cultural Heritage and Material Evidence of a Disappearing Europe

Anna Maria Stagno

The main goal of the project is to attain the intimate social dimension at the base of the common lands management in the context of South Europe Mountain regions, by means of historical and archaeological analysis.

The existence of common lands, the complexity of their different uses and the permanence of common rights on lands were crucial in shaping rural landscapes, so they are nowadays protected as natural heritage (Natural parks, Sites of Communitarian Interest). However, the historical organization of common lands is not well known.

The main question of the project is how archaeological methods can investigate the dynamic nature of commons. In order to answer this question and combining landscape archaeology and documentary research methods, I am investigating two paths:

– reconstructing topographical organization of common lands and its transformations

– archaeological visibility of conflicts

The project is developed in two areas in Basque Mountains (Sierra de Aizkorri and commons of Llanada alvesa oriental). Through the employment of different archaeological methods, the project is linking the study of primary production areas and settlements, considering all together the investigation of private lands, common lands historically used by the same community (and to identify the different communities/settlements that, through the ages, have held common access rights on the same areas) and settlements.

The project covers a trans-European dimension based on the enhancement of the dialogue between three research groups that investigate rural areas: GIPyPAC of University of Basque Country, where my MarieCurie IEF is based, and the Laboratory FRAMESPA-Terrae of the University Toulouse Jean Jaurès and LASA of the Università di Genova. The results of the Spanish case studies has been compared, trough targeted investigations, in uplands areas where LASA (Trebbia Valley) and FRAMESPA-Terrae (Cerdagne Mountain) are carrying out multidisciplinary research projects.

Anna Maria Stagno

Marie Curie IE Fellow at the University of the Basque Country, Research Group on Cultural Heritage and Landscapes, with a project on the Archaeology of Commons. PhD in Historical Geography (thesis on Rural Archaeology), at the University of Genoa. During the PhD and three of post-doctoral experience at the same University she specialized in the study environmental resources management systems, crossing field and archival sources.

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