chapter  14
21 Pages

The role of marginal landscapes in understanding transhumance in southern Tuscany (twelfth–twentieth centuries ad)

A reverse perspective integrating ethnoarchaeological and historical approaches
WithEdoardo Vanni, Davide Cristoferi

Archaeological and historical studies of Mediterranean pastoralism have focused primarily on large-scale transhumance centred on a mountain-to-plain perspective. In southern Tuscany, transhumant practices have been largely neglected by archaeological research. This is due to a long tradition of studies that saw this area only through the lens of agrarian supply, first in order to explain the spread of the Etruscan civilization and, second, in terms of economic growth during the Roman period. This chapter challenges current epistemological paradigms through the study of pastoralism in southern Tuscany. It focuses on the interaction between different agro-sylvo-pastoral activities which are deeply embedded in a complex set of eco-cultural choices. The chapter then focuses on the development of long-distance transhumance over the long term by analyzing its relations with the settlement structures of Maremma and the expropriation of common lands through the development of Sienese customs. It also focuses on the different forms of mobile pastoralism.