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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Francesco CarrerORCiD
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This paper investigates one of the main issues of the archaeology of pastoralism in the southern Alps: thedecrease of upland archaeological evidence in the late Iron Age (IA) and the Roman period. A novelinterpretation is proposed using ethnoarchaeological, ethnographic and ethnohistoric data collected in differentareas of the French and Italian Alps. These data document the existence of two pastoral strategies:Alpine pastoralism (focused on dairying activity) and transhumance (mainly focused on the exploitationof wool and primary products of livestock). The sites related to the first strategy are usually permanent andcomplex, while those related to the second are simple and ephemeral. On the basis of this information, the decrease of upland archaeological evidence during the late IA and the Roman period has been interpretedas a consequence of the decrease of dairy activity and increase of transhumance. These inferences allow us torethink the evolution of human exploitation of high mountain environments, as well as to tackle the bias ofarchaeological invisibility in specific pastoral contexts. Furthermore, they also confirm the important roleof ethnoarchaeology as a method of improving archaeological interpretation.
Author(s): Carrer F
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology
Print publication date: 16/06/2015
Acceptance date: 01/01/1900
ISSN (print): 0952-7648
ISSN (electronic): 1743-1700
Publisher: Equinox Publishing Ltd
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