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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Francesco CarrerORCiD
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This paper is aimed at documenting the state of art of archaeology of pastoralism in the Alps. This issue is tackled with the identification of some unanswered questions. The first one concerns the origin of pastoral exploitation of alpine uplands, dated to different periods by different scholars. The second one concerns the origin of transhumance, dated to prehistory or to protohistory, but more often to the Roman period. The third one concerns the origin of dairying in the Alps, which is difficult to identify because of the lack of archaeological data. The fourth one deals with the relationship between prehistoric metalworkers and shepherds, oscillating between identification and trading collaboration. The fifth deals with the scarcity of Roman remains in the Alpine uplands, referred to archaeological visibility or to actual abandonment of the mountains. The sixth concerns the relationship between climate changes and pastoral strategy variations, which cannot be simplified using the traditional equation: climate worsening = upland abandonment. The seventh concerns the creation of the first dry-stone structures in the uplands, highlighting that a univocal interpretation of their origin is difficult to find. This paper shows that the analysis of alpine pastoralism is complex, as it is biased by the lack of archaeological investigation and consequently of archaeological data.
Author(s): Carrer F
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Preistoria Alpina
Print publication date: 01/01/2013
ISSN (print): 0393-0157
Publisher: Museo Tridentino di Scienze Naturali