Transhumance, its characteristics and its development are among the main issues of the research project on archaeological landscapes of Northern Apulia between the Roman period and the Middle Ages. The integration of different sources and methodologies has allowed archaeologists so far to shed light on some central aspects of this phenomenon: from the involved regional districts to the social figures engaged in it; from the forms of production and craft related to breeding to the urban and rural centers of consumption where manufacturing processes were based. In this system of relations between places, people and processes, which the Apulian landscape of farming was based on, a central role must be recognized to the coastal plain of Tavoliere, extending from the Gargano to the mouth of the Ofanto river. The Tavoliere housed extensive lagoons, exploited for fishing and the extraction of salt, and specialized settlements in such activities. It is well known how salt, essential for human nutrition and food preservation, was also necessary for farming and manufacturing activities: the landscape of transhumance is therefore enriched by new lines of connection, material and immaterial, between centers and regional contexts, united by the need of salt supply. However, there are many outstanding issues . What archaeological evide nce can reveal the presence of st alls, pens, sheep pens? What were the directions of the movement of the flocks? On what basis an ancient use of medieval and modern tratturi is assumed? Where were localized pastures for flocks? The systematic researches conducted in Apulia, mainly in the central and southern Tavoliere, show the predominant agricultural use of this district, at least until the end of Late Antiquity and than for the central centuries of the Medieval period. Even the rece nt reconstruct ion about the location and the extent of the sa ltus Ca rminianensis (the huge imperial estate id eally bounded by the roman towns of Luceria, Aecae, Vibinum and Arpi) does not seem to solve the problem of pastures location. It is really possible to assume that farmers, shepherds and transhumant flocks coexisted in neighboring territories, without forms of conflict? Is the absence of measures to regulate the relationships between shepherds and farmers, in the known imperial constitutions, an indirect evidence of a peaceful coexistence or, conversely, of an absence of contact between the two realities? In the wake of these questions, particular attention will ultimately be paid to those areas of the region traditionally considered “marginal” since they were less suitable for agricultural exploitation: the damp and marshy coast and, above all, the Murgia plateau.

Dal Tavoliere alle Murge. Storie di lane, di grano e di sale in Puglia tra età romana e Medioevo

Volpe G.
2015

Abstract

Transhumance, its characteristics and its development are among the main issues of the research project on archaeological landscapes of Northern Apulia between the Roman period and the Middle Ages. The integration of different sources and methodologies has allowed archaeologists so far to shed light on some central aspects of this phenomenon: from the involved regional districts to the social figures engaged in it; from the forms of production and craft related to breeding to the urban and rural centers of consumption where manufacturing processes were based. In this system of relations between places, people and processes, which the Apulian landscape of farming was based on, a central role must be recognized to the coastal plain of Tavoliere, extending from the Gargano to the mouth of the Ofanto river. The Tavoliere housed extensive lagoons, exploited for fishing and the extraction of salt, and specialized settlements in such activities. It is well known how salt, essential for human nutrition and food preservation, was also necessary for farming and manufacturing activities: the landscape of transhumance is therefore enriched by new lines of connection, material and immaterial, between centers and regional contexts, united by the need of salt supply. However, there are many outstanding issues . What archaeological evide nce can reveal the presence of st alls, pens, sheep pens? What were the directions of the movement of the flocks? On what basis an ancient use of medieval and modern tratturi is assumed? Where were localized pastures for flocks? The systematic researches conducted in Apulia, mainly in the central and southern Tavoliere, show the predominant agricultural use of this district, at least until the end of Late Antiquity and than for the central centuries of the Medieval period. Even the rece nt reconstruct ion about the location and the extent of the sa ltus Ca rminianensis (the huge imperial estate id eally bounded by the roman towns of Luceria, Aecae, Vibinum and Arpi) does not seem to solve the problem of pastures location. It is really possible to assume that farmers, shepherds and transhumant flocks coexisted in neighboring territories, without forms of conflict? Is the absence of measures to regulate the relationships between shepherds and farmers, in the known imperial constitutions, an indirect evidence of a peaceful coexistence or, conversely, of an absence of contact between the two realities? In the wake of these questions, particular attention will ultimately be paid to those areas of the region traditionally considered “marginal” since they were less suitable for agricultural exploitation: the damp and marshy coast and, above all, the Murgia plateau.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11586/257942
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