I am a British archaeologist with a professional background as a digger and a researcher of ancient urbanism in Italy. This blog accompanies and promotes my two-year research project (2012-2014) at Durham University to create an analytical database of c.600 urban and proto-urban sites that once existed south of the Po River during the period 350BC to AD300. The project is funded by a Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship, and I have been lucky enough to be supervised by Rob Witcher, an experienced landscape archaeologist based at Durham. I sought Rob’s expertise because the methodology developed for the project is adapted from landscape archaeology: a database and a GIS. These computer-based analytical tools are used for the study of rural sites in micro-regions. For this project they have been applied in generally the same way, just on a different scale: a large landmass dotted with (proto-)urban centres.

In 2015 the results will be published and the database will be made freely available online. Meanwhile, here I want to increase awareness of the project by explaining more about it, but I also want to share with you some of the more weird and interesting archaeological sites I have encountered. Before starting the project, I thought I had a good basic understanding of the Italian archaeology from the period in which I’m interested, but I underestimated the incredible variety of sites that have been discovered. The published results of the project will take the form of quantitative and geospatial analyses, in which there will be little space for discussing individual sites. So with this blog I have the opportunity to introduce the ancient settlements that have fascinated me most.

Author and Researcher: Jamie Sewell (j.p.sewell@durham.ac.uk)



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