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DOI 10.4461/GFDQ.2016.39.13


A geoarchaeological study of the Metaponto coastal belt, Southern Italy, based on geomorphological mapping and GIS-supported classification of landforms

Pages 137-148


In this work we tried to infer the settlement rules and archaeological site patterns in pilot coastal area with high “archaeological potential” through the analysis of the spatial relationships between landform unit maps deriving from a GIS-supported procedure of landform extraction integrated with geomorphological analyses and archaeological evidence. This approach has been tested in the coastal Ionian sector of the Basilicata region, where a detailed geoarchaeological research has been carried out in the frame of the multidisciplinary MeTIBas project (the Italian acronyms for Innovative Methods and Technologies for the Cultural Heritages in the Basilicata region), funded by the European Community. The study area extends on the southernmost part of the Bradano Foredeep, southern Italy, and roughly coincides with the Greek settlement territory of Metaponto and its Chora (the area of influence of Greek colonists). Archaeological investigations, regarding about 1400 sites, consisted of a re-examination of literature data and new field surveys. The relationships between landscape elements deriving from the procedure here proposed and archaeological sites have been statistically investigated to derive settlement patterns and rules. Results highlight a preferential distribution of the identified categories of archaeological sites on gently-dipping marine terrace surfaces and near their edges, thus implying that settlement dynamics of the Metaponto territory partially driven by the topographic position.

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