Landscape and geology as controls on Bronze Age human dispersal: a case study from Sardinia (Italy)



The interaction of human dispersal patterns with landscape features can in many cases provide useful information on the sustenance strategies of past communities. Mapping the present landscape is a necessary step in recognizing the nature, impact, and diffusion of the processes which drive the behaviour of past populations and modify palaeolandscapes. We constructed a map of the land units in the southwestern corner of Sardinia and compared them with the distribution of known Bronze Age megalithic towers called nuraghes. The vast majority of nuraghes are near the plains or at mid elevations close to the river network, in areas with the highest landscape diversity. The occurrence of nuraghes also seems to be related to elevated outcrops giving the advantage of a raised position and stable foundations. Denudation processes, Late Holocene sea level rise, and anthropogenic disturbance seem to be the most important factors driving changes in the palaeolandscape.

Autori: Guido S. Mariani, Filippo Brandolini & Rita T. Melis

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