(German Archaeological Institute, Cultural Heritage and Site Management, Berlin, Germany)

Keywords: Roman Landscape Archaeology, Settlement Archaeology, GIS, Site Location Modelling, Latium

The present paper applies quantitative analyses to improve our understanding of Roman extra-urban settlement patterns in southern coastal Latium. Records for more than 5000 archaeological sites were gathered from publications and archives in a GIS database for the region between the Tiber, the Alban hills, the Lepini and Ausoni mountains, Terracina and the Tyrrhenian Sea. The study area is characterized by a variety of heterogeneous landscapes. Therefore, one of the central research questions concerns the interdependence of landscape types (as alluvial plain, coastline, volcanic hill or limestone mountain) and factors, which were decisive for locational choices. Descriptive site location analysis was conducted for site types such as “villa“, “villa rustica“, “cistern“, “tomb“ and “surface find scatter“ in respect to various environmental and cultural parameters, which may have influenced the choice of site locations. These factors comprise variables derived of the elevation model such as altitude, slope or exposition, background geology, soils, the cost-distance to resources (watercourses) as well as cost-distances to elements of the cultural landscapes such as roads, sanctuaries and towns.
A comparison was undertaken for different site types in the same „micro-region“ as well as for the same site type in different environmental settings. In a further step the patterns observed for the study area were compared with results of further published quantitative studies in Latium and Campania to identify similarities and differences. Additional analyses concerned site density distribution and intervisuality. The former analyses the spatial distribution of different site types in the study area, identifying hot spots of activity. The latter assesses the role of visibility for important elements of the cultural landscape such as villas, towns, roads and sanctuaries. Visibility may have been of relevance for aspects of social representation and a visual dominance of the landscape.

Relevance for the conference: The paper is relevant for the conference as the distribution of archaeological sites is analyzed by the use of Digital Techniques (therefore New Technologies are used to improve our understanding of Cultural Heritage), besides the methodological approach will be discussed.
Relevance for the session: My PhD thesis was dedicted to the mentioned research questions. There is no particular thematic focus of this session.
Innovation: A huge amount of analog site data, was collected, digitized, reclassified and analysed with quantitative methods to create a coherent picture of the region´s site distribution in Roman times.

  • M. Teichmann, Mensch und Landschaft im südwestlichen Latium in der römischen Antike (2017);
  • M. Teichmann, H.-R. Bork, Geo- and Landscape archaeological investigations in south-western Lazio (Italy): A diachronic approach to man-made landscape transformation processes in the hinterland of Rome, in: S. Kluiving, E. Guttmann-Bond (Hgs.): Landscape Archaeology between Art and Science. From a Multi- to an Interdisciplinary Approach, 2012, 211-222.