Institute of Archaeology


Upper Esino Valley Survey

The main objective of the Upper Esino Valley Survey is the reconstruction of the cultural landscape and interpretation of the development of human settlement in an upper valley of Adriatic Italy, using intensive surface collection and other prospection techniques.

The upper Esino valley is a mountainous, highly fragmented landscape, a so-called 'marginal' zone of the Mediterranean. Yet, it is characterised by two important and recurring traits: a nodal position on important transappennine communication routes, along which neighbouring cultures and ethnic groups interacted from early prehistory to the medieval period and later, and a location on the cultural and political boundaries of those groups.

The project is investigating the historical development of the valley as a case study in the relationship between landscape change, cultural contact and settlement dynamics on the Adriatic side of Central Italy.

Related outputs

  • J.Pearce, M. Pretzler, C. Riva 2009 The upper Esino valley survey, Marche, Italy (2002-2006): a preliminary discussion of aims, methods and results, in Fabriano e l'area appenninica dell'alta valle dell'Esino dall'età del bronzo alla romanizzazione, Atti del Convegno (Fabriano 19-20-21 maggio 2006), Ancona 2009, pgs 81-102
  • J.Pearce, M. Pretzler, C. Riva 2006 The Upper Esino Valley survey: methods and interpretation in a transitional landscape, in P. Attema, A. Nijboer and A. Zifferero (eds) Communities and Settlements from the Neolithic to the Early Medieval Period. (Proceedings of the Sixth Conference of Italian Archaeology, University of Groningen, Groningen Institute of Archaeology, The Netherlands, April 15-17, 2003). British Archaeological Reports, International Series 1452(I). Archeopress, Oxford
  • J.Pearce, M. Pretzler, C. Riva 2004 La carta archeologica del territorio fabrianese, in R. Orsetti (ed.) Le carta archeologica delle Marche: risultati e metodologie a confronto, Atti del Convegno, Abbazia di Fiastra 2002, Quaderni del catalogo 1/2002, 69-73
  • Riva C. 2004 Research reports: exploring the Orientalizing period in Picenum, in Papers of the British School at Rome, 364-365
  • J. Pearce, M. Pretzler, C. Riva 2003 Fieldwork reports: Upper Esino Valley Survey August 2002, in Papers of the British School at Rome 2003, 318-320
  • Riva C. 2003 Il periodo orientalizzante nel Piceno. Progetto di ricognizione nell'alta valle dell'Esino, in AIAC News 35, Marzo 2003


  • British Academy
  • Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies
  • Craven Fund (Oxford)
  • Centro Tecnico alla Cultura (Regione Marche)