Seasonal settlements and husbandry resources in the Ligurian Apennines (17th–20th centuries)
Anna Maria Stagno
University of Genoa/University of the Basque Country
This paper compares the results of different investigations devoted to the historical reconstruction of seasonal settlements (locally called casoni) that were widespread in the western Ligurian Apennines during the post-medieval period, and in doing so evaluate their potential as archaeological sources for the study of the management systems of husbandry resources. Between the 17th and 20th centuries, casoni became important components of pasture organization in the eastern Ligurian Apennines. As buildings where cattle and shepherds found shelter, it is possible to locate various casoni through place names, the analysis of historical and current cartography or by field-survey. The research summarized in this paper was carried out in four areas (Casoni Lagorara, Casoni di Bargone, Perlezzi sites and Casone del Giazzo) using archaeological (particularly architectural archaeology and survey) and documentary sources (historical cartography, archival documentation about jurisdictional conflicts). In each area, the archaeological analysis of the buildings revealed important transformations between the 18th and early-19th centuries. The comparison between the case studies suggests that these changes were the result of more general transformations in husbandry during this period, particularly those associated with transformations in agricultural systems.