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Hidden Landscapes Project

Hidden Landscapes Project
Researchers: Dr. Martijn van Leusen, Dr. Rik Feiken, Drs. Wieke de Neef
Agro Pontino/Monti Lepini, Lazio; Sibaritide, Calabria
2006-2010
The Hidden Landscapes project aims to redress significant research and visibility biases that have crept into the typical Mediterranean archaeological landscape narrative, by demonstrating the existence of so-called hidden landscapes, by employing innovative ways of studying such landscapes, and by rewriting the resultant narrative for two sample regions in central and southern Italy. Three interrelated sets of approaches to the study of hidden archaeological landscapes are pursued. First, the study of how post-depositional processes (especially Holocene geological processes and modern agricultural development) systematically affect the visibility and preservation of archaeological remains of various periods across the landscape. Second, the study of those geographical zones that have in the past been regarded as uninteresting, marginal, or difficult to investigate (up- and highlands, marshes, coastal margins). And thirdly, the study of low culture - the indigenous, rural, unobtrusive remains left behind by the large majority of the population throughout the ages - rather than the traditional focus on the classical, urban world and monuments of high culture such as temples. The project focuses on the study of the indigenous, protohistoric (pre-classical) up- and highlands in the two sample regions as an exemplar, because this ancient landscape potentially provides clearest evidence of having hitherto remained hidden in all three senses.
Institutes: University of Groningen