Geophysics Applied to Landscape Archaeology: Understanding Samnite and Roman Relationships in Molise (Italy) Using Geoarchaeological Research Methods
International Journal of Archaeology
Volume 3, Issue 1-1, January 2015, Pages: 26-36
Received: Dec. 10, 2014;
Accepted: Dec. 13, 2014;
Published: Dec. 27, 2014
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Pier Matteo Barone, Archaeology and Classics Program, The American University of Rome, Via P. Roselli, 4 – 00153 Rome, Italy
Carlotta Ferrara, Department of Mathematics and Physics, University of Roma Tre, Via Della Vasca Navale, 84 – 00146 Rome, Italy
The Italian region of Molise features clear evidence of the people who have conquered it, inhabited it, tilled it, abandoned it, and reoccupied it. This research, focusing on the coastal area of Molise, attempts to show that the Samnite to Roman transition was not as violent as reported by the historian Livy (e.g., the Samnitic wars). Instead, the transition progressed as a gradual social, political, and cultural evolution. The geoarchaeological analysis of several sample sites helps to demonstrate this hypothesis by emphasizing how the landscape of coastal Molise changed during this particular historical period (i.e., between the sixth and fourth centuries BC). The use of geophysical methods (using both ground penetrating radar (GPR) and gradiometer techniques) in several coastal sites (Guglionesi, San Giacomo degli Schiavoni and San Martino in Pensilis) reveals settlement similarities between Samnite and Roman sites from a strategic and economic point of view. Moreover, this integrated study reveals that the traditional antagonistic relationship between these two populations in this period did not preclude a sort of mutual respect, which allowed this Italic population to be incorporated and assimilated into the Roman world without being completely destroyed and lost.
Pier Matteo Barone,
Geophysics Applied to Landscape Archaeology: Understanding Samnite and Roman Relationships in Molise (Italy) Using Geoarchaeological Research Methods, International Journal of Archaeology. Special Issue: Archaeological Sciences.
Vol. 3, No. 1-1,
2015, pp. 26-36.
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