Aerial photograph of the Polesine,
showing the transect surveyed
This study of surface
archaeology in the Po plain ran from 1986-2000. The project is jointly organised and directed with
colleagues from the University of Padua.
It's dual aims were, on the one
hand, to develop the theory and methodology of surface archaeology and,
on the other, to throw light on the environment and archaeology of an
area of the eastern Po plain south of Verona.
Occupation of the survey
area seems to have been mainly in the Bronze Age (2nd millennium BC) and
the Roman period, with a virtual abandonment in the intervening Iron Age
and only sparse post-Roman occupation before the land drainage schemes
of recent centuries.
Section of the Bronze Age banked
settlement of Fabbrica dei Soci
In fact successful exploitation of this wetland
area, characterised in the past by frequently changing river formations
and major flooding episodes, seems to have depended on active water
Not only do we have much information on the Roman centuriation system of land division and drainage in the survey area,
but we also have evidence of water management in the Bronze Age
(definitely drainage and probably also irrigation).
The Polesine survey in progress
Interim reports have
appeared annually in Quaderni di Archeologia del Veneto (in
Italian) and Accordia Research Papers (in English) and a monograph on
the project is currently in preparation by Ruth Whitehouse and John
to Research Page