Ancient Topography in Southern Etruria: an Appraisal of Twenty Years of Research

Marcello Spanu


For over twenty years, the Università degli Studi della Tuscia has carried out and coordinated surveys in Southern Etruria, today’s province of Viterbo. These investigations are performed with traditional methods (collection of all kinds of data and their analysis, systematic field-walking and so on) combined with the employment of the latest technological applications. The area covered by these surveys is very wide (from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Tiber River) and equally wide is the span of the connected studies, ranging from prehistoric to post-medieval periods. The deep geo-morphological diversities of this region have influenced, in the course of time, the occupation of the territory, its exploitation and settlement patterns. This research project has been partially motivated by the intention to fill a gap in our knowledge of a region which is very close to Rome and which has not been thoroughly examined until recently. The aim of this work is not only to redo a “census” of all the archaeological evidence of the territory but also to provide analysis according to coherent chronological phases or to specific topics (road-systems, distribution and typology of settlements, human activities and so on). A part of the data collected so far has been published in monographs by those responsible for the various surveys. In this paper, an overall presentation of the results will be outlined, with more general reflections on archaeological data and their potentiality in the field of the protection of cultural heritage (from preventive archaeology to the landscape planing).


Southern Etruria, Ancient Topography, Archaeological Survey, Archaeological Mapping

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Copyright (c) 2016 Marcello Spanu

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