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The “Invisible” Shepherd and the “Visible” Dairyman: Ethnoarchaeology of Alpine Pastoral Sites in the Val di Fiemme (Eastern Italian Alps).

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Francesco CarrerORCiD


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Pastoral groups are often considered ‘invisible’by archaeologists, as their mobility is supposed to affect thearchaeological visibility of their sites. In order to tackle thisinvisibility issue, ethno-archaeological research was carriedout in the eastern Italian Alps (Val di Fiemme, Trentinoprovince). It enabled the identification of two husbandrystrategies, one focused on dairying animals (reared fortheir milk) and the other on non-dairying animals (rearedfor their wool and meat). It was noticed that the seasonalsites related to the ‘dairying’ strategy are more complexand less ephemeral than those related to the ‘non-dairying’strategy. This led to the conclusion that the ‘non-dairying’pastoralists are less visible in the archaeological recordthan the ‘dairying’ pastoralists. This inference enhances theunderstanding of specific mountain archaeological sites,and also confirms that ethno-archaeology has the potentialto solve specific archaeological problems, such as thoserelated to archaeological visibility.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Carrer F

Editor(s): Pearce, M; Nicolis, F; Collins, JR;

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Summer Farms: Seasonal exploitation of the Uplands from Prehistory to the Present

Year: 2015

Series Title: Sheffield Archaeological Monographs

Publisher: Equinox


Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9780906090558