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Open AccessArticle

Geological and Geomorphological Controls on the Path of an Intermountain Roman Road: The Case of the Via Herculia, Southern Italy

CNR-Istituto per i Beni Archeologici e Monumentali (IBAM), C/da S. Loja, 85050 Potenza, Italy
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Geosciences 2019, 9(9), 398; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9090398
Received: 16 July 2019 / Revised: 6 September 2019 / Accepted: 10 September 2019 / Published: 12 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geoarchaeology: A Review of Case Studies in the Mediterranean Sea)
This work introduces the results of a geoarchaeological study about a large segment of a Roman road (i.e., Via Herculia, III and the beginning of IV century A.D.), which crossed the Lucanian segment of the southern Apennines (Italy). Classical approach of the archaeological research based on the analysis of bibliographic, archival, literary, archaeological, and historical sources allowed us to infer the Roman road path, which is quite different from previous hypotheses. Geoarchaeological analysis is based on the detailed mapping of lithological and geomorphological features of the study area and has been primarily focused on a well-known segment of the Roman road from Filiano to the southern mountains of the Potenza city (Sasso di Castalda). Our results suggest that the choice of the road path has been driven by the outcrop of some deposits and the presence of specific geomorphological landforms, such as low-relief areas in mountain landscape. Then, the same approach was applied to a sector with controversial archaeological evidences (i.e., the Upper Agri river valley), where geological and geomorphological analyses support archaeological research in the reconstruction of the ancient path. This integrated approach can help archaeology to understand and then discover ancient road paths crossing complex and impervious landscapes such as the intramontane lands. View Full-Text
Keywords: geoarchaeology; geomorphology; Roman roads; Via Herculia; southern Apennines geoarchaeology; geomorphology; Roman roads; Via Herculia; southern Apennines
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gioia, D.; Del Lungo, S.; Sannazzaro, A.; Lazzari, M. Geological and Geomorphological Controls on the Path of an Intermountain Roman Road: The Case of the Via Herculia, Southern Italy. Geosciences 2019, 9, 398. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9090398

AMA Style

Gioia D, Del Lungo S, Sannazzaro A, Lazzari M. Geological and Geomorphological Controls on the Path of an Intermountain Roman Road: The Case of the Via Herculia, Southern Italy. Geosciences. 2019; 9(9):398. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9090398

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gioia, Dario; Del Lungo, Stefano; Sannazzaro, Annarita; Lazzari, Maurizio. 2019. "Geological and Geomorphological Controls on the Path of an Intermountain Roman Road: The Case of the Via Herculia, Southern Italy" Geosciences 9, no. 9: 398. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9090398

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