L’analisi archeomorfologica delle reti viarie come studio delle dinamiche evolutive del paesaggio. Il caso della bassa pianura veneta tra Padova e Rovigo

Michele Matteazzi

Abstract


In this paper we analyse the contribution that archaeomorfological analysis of road networks can bring to the study of landscape dynamics, focusing on the study case of the low Venetian plain between Padua and Rovigo. Methodologically, we found our work on a study published by Eric Vion in 1989 where, for the first time, the Swiss scholar defended the importance of the morphological study of communication routes to understand the historical evolution of a territory. By applying the basic principles of this method, we have analysed the territory in order to highlight its main evolutionary stages.
So we could establish that, after a series of interventions dating back to Protohistoric times, the first real large-scale landscape structuration was carried out by the Romans, initially (second century BC) by drafting a series of extra regional routes designed to connect the northernmost colony of Aquileia with the southern strongholds of Ariminum, Mutina, and Bononia and, later (first century BC-first century AD), by implementing the road network through the realization of new routes and at least three different centuriated field systems in the territories controlled by Patavium, Ateste and Atria.
With the fall of the Roman Empire during Late Antiquity, all these infrastructures had to be partly abandoned and partly re-functionalized by seconding the changed needs of the rural population. Around the 10th century, it seems possible to date the first setting of a series of so-called radial systems that deeply modify the previous centurial infrastructures, while between 11th and 13th centuries, a series of interventions on the road network were promoted by the city of Padua. Finally, from fifteenth to eighteenth century, new interventions (construction of new roads and channels and reclamation works) were carried out, especially in the lagoon area, by the government of Venice Republic.
In this paper we analyse the contribution that archaeomorfological analysis of road networks can bring to the study of landscape dynamics, focusing on the study case of the low Venetian plain between Padua and Rovigo. Methodologically, we found our work on a study published by Eric Vion in 1989 where, for the first time, the Swiss scholar defended the importance of the morphological study of communication routes to understand the historical evolution of a territory. By applying the basic principles of this method, we have analysed the territory in order to highlight its main evolutionary stages.
So we could establish that, after a series of interventions dating back to Protohistoric times, the first real large-scale landscape structuration was carried out by the Romans, initially (second century BC) by drafting a series of extra regional routes designed to connect the northernmost colony of Aquileia with the southern strongholds of Ariminum, Mutina, and Bononia and, later (first century BC-first century AD), by implementing the road network through the realization of new routes and at least three different centuriated field systems in the territories controlled by Patavium, Ateste and Atria.
With the fall of the Roman Empire during Late Antiquity, all these infrastructures had to be partly abandoned and partly re-functionalized by seconding the changed needs of the rural population. Around the 10th century, it seems possible to date the first setting of a series of so-called radial systems that deeply modify the previous centurial infrastructures, while between 11th and 13th centuries, a series of interventions on the road network were promoted by the city of Padua. Finally, from fifteenth to eighteenth century, new interventions (construction of new roads and channels and reclamation works) were carried out, especially in the lagoon area, by the government of Venice Republic.
In this paper we analyse the contribution that archaeomorfological analysis of road networks can bring to the study of landscape dynamics, focusing on the study case of the low Venetian plain between Padua and Rovigo. Methodologically, we found our work on a study published by Eric Vion in 1989 where, for the first time, the Swiss scholar defended the importance of the morphological study of communication routes to understand the historical evolution of a territory. By applying the basic principles of this method, we have analysed the territory in order to highlight its main evolutionary stages.
So we could establish that, after a series of interventions dating back to Protohistoric times, the first real large-scale landscape structuration was carried out by the Romans, initially (second century BC) by drafting a series of extra regional routes designed to connect the northernmost colony of Aquileia with the southern strongholds of Ariminum, Mutina, and Bononia and, later (first century BC-first century AD), by implementing the road network through the realization of new routes and at least three different centuriated field systems in the territories controlled by Patavium, Ateste and Atria.
With the fall of the Roman Empire during Late Antiquity, all these infrastructures had to be partly abandoned and partly re-functionalized by seconding the changed needs of the rural population. Around the 10th century, it seems possible to date the first setting of a series of so-called radial systems that deeply modify the previous centurial infrastructures, while between 11th and 13th centuries, a series of interventions on the road network were promoted by the city of Padua. Finally, from fifteenth to eighteenth century, new interventions (construction of new roads and channels and reclamation works) were carried out, especially in the lagoon area, by the government of Venice Republic.
In this paper we analyse the contribution that archaeomorfological analysis of road networks can bring to the study of landscape dynamics, focusing on the study case of the low Venetian plain between Padua and Rovigo. Methodologically, we found our work on a study published by Eric Vion in 1989 where, for the first time, the Swiss scholar defended the importance of the morphological study of communication routes to understand the historical evolution of a territory. By applying the basic principles of this method, we have analysed the territory in order to highlight its main evolutionary stages.
So we could establish that, after a series of interventions dating back to Protohistoric times, the first real large-scale landscape structuration was carried out by the Romans, initially (second century BC) by drafting a series of extra regional routes designed to connect the northernmost colony of Aquileia with the southern strongholds of Ariminum, Mutina, and Bononia and, later (first century BC-first century AD), by implementing the road network through the realization of new routes and at least three different centuriated field systems in the territories controlled by Patavium, Ateste and Atria.
With the fall of the Roman Empire during Late Antiquity, all these infrastructures had to be partly abandoned and partly re-functionalized by seconding the changed needs of the rural population. Around the 10th century, it seems possible to date the first setting of a series of so-called radial systems that deeply modify the previous centurial infrastructures, while between 11th and 13th centuries, a series of interventions on the road network were promoted by the city of Padua. Finally, from fifteenth to eighteenth century, new interventions (construction of new roads and channels and reclamation works) were carried out, especially in the lagoon area, by the government of Venice Republic.

Keywords


Archaeomorphology; Road Networks; Landscape Dynamics; Low Venetian Plain; “longue durée”

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5463/lac.2014.15

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Copyright (c) 2016 Michele Matteazzi

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LAC 2014 proceedings - ISBN 978-90-825296-0-9 - is an open access initiative supported by the University Library, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.