Summer Farms - Seasonal Exploitation of the Uplands from Prehistory to the Present - John R. Collis

Summer Farms - Seasonal Exploitation of the Uplands from Prehistory to the Present - John R. Collis

An historical ecology of the Neolithic to Medieval Periods in the southern French Alps: a reassessment of ‘driving forces’

Summer Farms - Seasonal Exploitation of the Uplands from Prehistory to the Present - John R. Collis

Kevin Walsh [+-]
University of York
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Kevin Walsh is Lecturer in Landscape Archaeology in the Department of Archaeology at the University of York. His principal research areas are Mountain and Mediterranean landscape archaeology. Current field projects are based in the southern French Alps, the Pyrenees, and the landscape around Stymphalos in the northern Peloponnese. All these projects assess notions of environmental knowledge, and consider how past Mediterranean societies understood and responded to environmental change between the Neolithic and Roman period. His most recent publication, co-edited with Ph. Della-Casa (eds.), is: Interpretation of Sites and Material Culture from Mid-high Altitude Mountain Environments. Proceedings of the 2004 EAA Session on Alpine Archaeology. Preistoria Alpina.Volume 42 (Trento, Italy: Museo Tridentino di Scienze Naturali, 2007).
Florence Mocci
Aix-Marseille Université

Description

The aim of this paper is to assess the development of summer activities in the high-altitude zone of the southern French Alps between the Neolithic and the Middle Ages. During these periods, there was enormous variety in the nature of high-altitude activity in these valleys. The Bronze Age witnessed the establishment of the first stone-built pastoral structures at 2200m and above. This marked an important change in the engagement with this landscape, with high-altitude summer pasturing emerging as a new activity. The Iron Age and Roman Period are characterised by a dearth of archaeological structures, but continued palaeoecological signals for pastoral (and possibly mining) activity. The medieval periods saw a substantial increase in activity; a combination of pastoralism and mining, with some large high altitude settlements created which imply the wholesale summer movement of communities from valley-bottom to the high altitude zones.

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Citation

Walsh, Kevin; Mocci, Florence . An historical ecology of the Neolithic to Medieval Periods in the southern French Alps: a reassessment of ‘driving forces’. Summer Farms - Seasonal Exploitation of the Uplands from Prehistory to the Present. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 183-202 Aug 2016. ISBN 9780906090565. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=28013. Date accessed: 21 Aug 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.28013. Aug 2016

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