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CODE 106724
SEMESTER 2° Semester


The course aims at introducing the concept of landscape investigatingthe ways in which - starting from an archaeological reading, and hence focusing on material traces - it is possible to reconstruct the changes in the forms of management of environmental resources, the articulation of settlement and, therefore, the links between changes in the landscape and the dynamics of settlement. Particular attention will be paid to the dialogue between the different disciplines involved in the study of the landscape, as well as to the comparison of research approaches and procedures and the various and numerous processes of landscape heritagisation.



Landscape archeology is the discipline which studies the landscape from a historical, deeply diachronic perspective. Starting from a reflection on the concept of landscape and on how it is declined in the various disciplines, the course aims to: - provide the theoretical-methodological tools to read traces of the past in the landscape and in the various sources , document and interpret them; - analyze and discuss the different types of sources (documentary - textual, cartographic and iconographic - and of land, with particular reference to archaeological reconnaissance) useful for reconstructing the changes in the practices and in the activation and management systems of environmental resources; - show how the analyses can reconstruct the processes that led to the formation of current landscapes and to better understand the social and settlement dynamics that historically have affected rural spaces and beyond; - critically reflect, starting from an archaeological perspective, on the current processes of landscape heritage (European Landscape Convention, Faro Convention, etc.).


The course builds a path around the concept of landscape and the archaeological reading of the current landscape in different disciplines and research traditions (Italian and others). The course starts from the historiographical reconstruction of the different approaches that have tackled the concept of landscape from a historical perspective (from the work on the Italian agrarian landscape by Emilio Sereni to English Local History and English Historical Ecology). Archaeological approaches to landscapes will be explored in depth  (archaeology of the territory, ancient topography, archaeological survey, historic landscape characterisation, archaeology and environmental history). The aim is to show how the perspectives through which the landscape has been observed by the different disciplines and by archaeology have changed. These discussions will be the theoretical basis for the concrete examples from different Italian and European contexts that the course will illustrate (also through educational fieldworks), in order to present and discuss the tools and methods of landscape archaeology research.

It will be shown how through archaeological surveys it is possible to identify, non only the evidence of buried settlements, but also those of of the management of environmental resources and of theyr changes through times. Attention will also be drawn to changes in landscape and settlement dynamics, through a constant dialogue with other disciplines (in particular geograpy, archive research and natural sciences). The consideration of these links can in fact also modify the perspective with which local social groups, settlement dynamics, and material culture are reconstructed. From these perspectives, we will reflect on how archaeology can contribute to the processes of landscape definition, protection and valorisation, and on the problems posed by the ongoing process of landscape heritagisation (European Landscape Convention, Faro Convention, etc.).

At the end of the course, students will have a detailed knowledge of how ways of reading the landscape have changed. They will also have the tools to navigate through the vast bibliography on the subject. Moreover, they will acquire the tools for a critical analysis of the studies carried out on the history of rural societies and landscapes, and to carry out autonomous observations of landscape archaeology and critically analyse the ongoing processes of heritagisation.

For students in History and for those who selceted 9 CFU, aims, learning outcomos, programma and bibliography must be integrated, for the remaining 3 CFU from the fraction "Rural archaeology" of the course "Postmedieval and rural archaeology" ( 


No special prerequisites are required.


Educational visits to spaces that can be studied through landscape archaeology and to museums. Lab-activities Lectures, with use of presentations and any other audiovisual aids; seminar activities on case studies. During the lessons, paper and documents will be introduced also by students (after and individual or small groups work).

The teaching material will be posted on the Aulaweb.

Lessons will be held in presence. Attendance, although not compulsory, is recommended.


The course programme revolves around three key contents: the concept of landscape; reading landscape through archaeology: theoretical approaches, methods and strategies of investigation (from landscape to site); landscape and heritage: ongoing processes and open issues.

The different and differentiated paths that in Italy and Europe have led to the construction and development of landscape archaeologies and non-invasive and non-destructive methodologies of archaeological investigation will be discussed and presented; starting from the methodologies of archaeological survey, approaches, strategies and methods for the historical-archaeological-environmental study of the landscape (rural archaeology, archaeology of environmental resources, historical ecology, historical characterisation of the landscape, mountain archaeology, archaeology of rural settlement networks, ancient topography, agrarian archaeology, etc.) will be explored with a comparative view; the herigisation processes of spaces, objects and memories connected with the landscape and the resulting critical issues will be also discussed.

The programme will be the same for attenders and non-attenders. For non-attenders, an ad hoc course will be constructed through readings and texts of their choice.

For students in History and for those who selceted 9 CFU, programme and bibliography must be integrated, for the remaining 3 CFU from the fraction "Rural archaeology" of the course "Postmedieval and rural archaeology" ( 


The list of texts is subject to change. Therefore, it is advisable to wait for the start of the lectures and the presentation of the programme before purchasing or borrowing.

During the introduction, the topics to be covered in depth in the course will be agreed upon. Students will be able to choose from the list below the texts to be read and commented on.

For students in History and for those who selceted 9 CFU, programme and bibliography must be integrated, for the remaining 3 CFU from the fraction "Rural archaeology" of the course "Postmedieval and rural archaeology" ( 

Reference texts


  • Maria Grazia Celuzza, Edina Regoli 1981, Alla ricerca dei paesaggi, in A. Carandini, Storie dalla terra, Manuale dello scavo archeologico, Torino, pp. 301-310
  • Graeme Barker, L'archeologia del paesaggio italiano: nuovi orientamenti e recenti esperienze, in «Archeologia Medievale», XIII (1986), p. 12.
  • Manuela Bernardi (a cura di), Archeologia del paesaggio, IV ciclo di lezioni sulla ricerca applicata in archeologia (Certosa di Pontignano - Siena-, 14-26 gennaio 1991), Firenze, 1992 (
  • Franco Cambi, Nicola Terrenato, Introduzione all’archeologia dei paesaggi, Urbino, 1994.


  • Nereo Alfieri, Dispensa di Topografia dell'Italia Antica, Università di Bologna, 1975.
  • Andreina Ricci, La documentazione scritta nella ricerca archeologica sul territorio: un nuovo sistema di schedatura, «Archeologia Medievale», X, 1983, pp. 495-506.
  • Gabriele Gattiglia, Anna Maria Stagno, La documentazione scritta nella ricognizione archeologica sul territorio: un “vecchio” sistema di schedatura, «Archeologia Medievale», XXXI, 2005, pp. 453-459.
  • Enrico Cirelli, Classificazione e quantificazione del materiale ceramico nelle ricerche di superficie, in Medioevo, paesaggi e metodi, a cura di N. Mancassola, F. Saggioro, Mantova: SAP, 2006, pp. 169-176

Text for detailed studies (two topics should be selected, when many texts are proposed, the selection of the text will be discussed with the lecturer)

Archaeological maps and archaeological risk

  • Marinella Pasquinucci, Simonetta Menchelli (a cura di), La Cartografia archeologica. Problemi e prospettive, Atti del Convegno Internazionale (Pisa 1988), Pisa, 1989.
  • John Moreland, The farfa survey: a second interim report, «Archeologia Medievale», XIV, 1987, pp. 409-418.
  • Riccardo Francovich, Alessandra Pellicanò, Marinella Pasquinucci, La carta archeologica fra ricerca e pianificazione territoriale, Firenze, 2001.
  • Marco Milanese, Diacronia dichiarata e diacronia praticata nella ricognizione archeologica, in N. Cucuzza, M. Medri (a cura di), Archeologie, Studi in onore di Tiziano Mannoni, Città di Castello, 2001, pp. 171-176.
  • Maria Pia Guermandi (a cura di), Rischio archeologico: se lo conosci lo eviti, Atti del congresso Internazionale di Studi su cartografia archeologica e tutela del territorio (Ferrara 2000), 2002.
  • Sauro Gelichi (a cura di), Dalla carta di rischio archeologico di Cesena alla tutela preventiva urbana in Europa, Firenze, 1999.

Archaeology of Environmental Resources and Historical Ecology

  • Diego Moreno, Piero Piussi, Oliver Rackham (a cura di), Boschi: storia e archeologia, «Quaderni Storici», 49, 1982, pp. 6-163.
  • Diego Moreno, Dal documento al terreno. Storia e archeologia dei sistemi agro-silvo-pastorali, Il Mulino, Bologna, 1990 (o riedizione a cura di C. Montanari e M.Guido, De Ferrari Editore, 2018).
  • Alfred Thomas Grove, Oliver Rackham, The nature of Mediterranean Europe: an historical ecology, London, 2001.
  • Anna Maria Stagno, Carlo Montanari, Archeologia montana e archeologia delle risorse ambientali: approcci “marginali” di studio alle aree montane italiane nel periodo post-classico, in Archeologia delle aree montane europee: metodi, problemi e casi di studio, «Il Capitale Culturale. Studies on the Value of Cultural Heritage», 12, 2015, pp. 479-501.
  • Mick Aston, Chris Gerrard, Interpreting the English village. Landscape and community at Shapwick, Somerset, Oxford, 2013.

The archaeological deposit and formation processes in archaeology

  • Giovanni Leonardi (a cura di), Processi formativi della stratificazione archeologica, Atti del seminario internazionale (Padova, 15-27 luglio 1991), Padova.
  • Philippe Leveau, Frederic Trément, Kevin Walsh, Graeme Barker (eds.), Environmental reconstruction in Mediterranean landscape archaeology. The archaeology of Mediterranean landscapes 2, Oxford, 1999.
  • Riccardo Francovich, Hutson Patterson eds., Extracting meaning from Ploughsoil assemblages, Oxford, 2000.

“Archeologia globale del territorio”

  • Tiziano Mannoni, Venticinque anni di archeologia globale 1. Archeologia dell’urbanistica, Genova, 1994.
  • Diego Moreno, Anna Maria Stagno, Storia della cultura materiale e risorse ambientali. Percorsi e incontri, in ISCUM (a cura di), Tiziano Mannoni: attualità e sviluppi di metodi e idee, Firenze, pp. 74-81.
  • Nicola Cucuzza, Maura Medri (a cura di), Archeologie, Studi in onore di Tiziano Mannoni, Città di Castello, 2001.

Site and context (or site and landscape)

  • Nicola Mancassola, Fabio Saggioro (a cura di), Medioevo, Paesaggi e Metodi, Mantova, 2006.
  • Colin Renfrew Paul Bahn Elizabeth DeMarrais, L'essenziale in archeologia. Teorie, metodi, pratiche, Bologna, 2024.

  • Richard E. Witcher, Broken Pots and Meaningless Dots? Surveying the Rural Landscapes of Roman Italy, «Papers of the British School at Rome», 74, 2006, pp 39-72.
  • Voci: New Archaeology, Archeologia del paesaggio, Archeologia ambientale in Riccardo Francovich, Daniele Manacorda (a cura di), Dizionario di archeologia. Teoria metodi concetti, Roma-Bari, 2000.
  • Anna Maria Stagno, Gli spazi dell'archeologia rurale. Risorse ambientali e insediamenti dell'Appennino Ligure (XV-XXI secolo), All'Insegna del Giglio, Firenze, 2018.

Between ancient topography and landscape archaeology (in depth studies)

  • Giovanni Azzena, Archeologia no global. La topografia antica e i ripensamenti disciplinari, «Rivista di Topografia Antica», 19, 2009, pp. 7-20.
  • Giovanna Bonora, Pier Luigi Dallaglio, Stella Patitucci, Giovanni Uggeri, La topografia antica, 2000, Bologna
  • Bruno David, Juan Thomas (edited by), Handbook of Landscape Archaeology, Walnut Creek, 2008.
  • Alessandro Guidi, I metodi della ricerca archeologica, Bari, 2005.
  • Franco Cambi, Manuale di archeologia dei paesaggi. Metodologie, fonti, contesti, Roma, 2015 (è possibile scegliere anche uno degli altri libri dello stesso autore sul tema).
  • Lorenzo Quilici, Stefania Quilici Gigli, Introduzione alla topografia antica, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2004
  • Martin Carver M., Gaydarska B., Monton-Subias S. (a cura di) 2015, Field Archaeology from Around the World Ideas and Approaches, Heidelberg.
  • Emery Farinetti, I paesaggi in archeologia: analisi e interpretazione, Roma, Carocci, 2012, pp. 9-11.
  • Thomas Williamson, Shaping Medieval Landscapes: Settlement, Society, Environment, Windgather, 2004.

Historic Landscape Characterisation

  • Alexandra Chavarría Arnau, Andrew Reynolds (eds.), Detecting and understanding historic landscapes, Roma-Bari, 2015.
  • Jo Clark, John Darlington, Graham Fairclough, Using Historic Landscape Characterisation, North Yorkshire, 2004 (
  • Simona Pietrobono, Sam Turner, Comparing methods in European context: Historic Landscape Characterisation and new perspectives for research in Italy, «Archeologia Postmedievale», 14, 2013, pp. 111-133.

Agrarian landscapes, cultural landscapes, rural landscapes

  • Emilio Sereni, Storia del paesaggio agrario italiano, riedizioni (ed. or. 1961).
  • Knutt Krzywinski, Mark O’Connell, Hutson Küster (eds.), Cultural Landscapes of Europe, Fields of Demeter, Haunts of Pan, Wildeshausen, 2007.
  • Mauro Agnoletti (a cura di), Paesaggi rurali storici. Per un catalogo nazionale, 2010, Bari (v.i. 2013).

Mountain archaeology

  • Marco Avanzini, Isabella Salvador (a cura di), Antichi pastori: sopravvivenze, tradizione orale, storia, tracce nel paesaggio e archeologia, Atti della Tavola Rotonda (Bosco Chiesanuova (VR), 26-27 ottobre 2013), Trento, 2014.
  • Sthéphan Tzortzis, Xavier Delestre (eds.). Archéologie de la montagne européene, Condé Sur Noireau, 2010.
  • Anna Maria Stagno (a cura di), Carved Mountain. Engraved Stones. Contribution to an archaeology of resources of Mediterranean mountains, «Archeologia Postmedievale» 17 (2013), pp. 13-439.
  • Umberto Moscatelli, Anna Maria Stagno (a cura di), Archeologia delle aree montane europee: metodi, problemi e casi di studio, «Il Capitale Culturale. Studies on the Value of Cultural Heritage», 12, 2014, pp. 11-892 - in accesso aperto.
  • Christine Rendu, La montagne d’Enveig, un estive pyréneénne dans la longue durée, Perpignan, 2003.

History of an history of landscapes archaeologies

  • Marco Milanese, Dall’archeologia postclassica all’archeologia postmedievale. Temi e problemi, vecchie e nuove tendenze, S. Gelichi (a cura di), Quarant’anni di Archeologia Medievale in Italia, Numero Speciale al numero XL di «Archeologia Medievale», 2014, pp. 41-49.
  •  Anna Maria Stagno, Vittorio Tigrino, Lo sguardo del geografo: Massimo Quaini, l’archeologia, la storia, in Roberta Cevasco, Carlo Alberto Gemignani, Daniela Poli, Luisa Rossi (a cura di), Il pensiero critico fra geografia e scienza del territorio. Scritti su Massimo Quaini, Firenze, 2021, pp. 259-275. 10.36253/978-88-5518-322-2.18
  • Cristina Corsi, Medieval Landscape Archaeology in Italy: A Review, «Medieval Archaeology», 60-2, 2016, pp. 332-348, DOI: 10.1080/00766097.2016.1221260
  • Chris Gerrard, Medieval Archaeology Understanding traditions and contemporary approaches, London-New York, 2003.

Further bibliographical indications and materials relating to the research and cases discussed will be provided in class and, when possible, uploaded to the Aulaweb.




Classes will start during the week starting with Monday 17th February

Class schedule

The timetable for this course is available here: Portale EasyAcademy



Exam will be oral. Written exercises and texts on case studies or critical readings are expected. Written excises will contribute to the final evaluation, but are not compulsory and have temporal validity during the academic year.

Erasmus students not proficient in Italian may request a substitutive bibliography, and take the examination in English or in Spanish.


The oral examination and the discussion of the in-progress written exercises will verify the achievement of the learning outcomes. The main assessment parameters are the mastery of the topics covered, the quality of the exposition and vocabulary used, both in the oral communication and in the written tests, and the capacity for critical and comparative reasoning.

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