Cultural Landscapes

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Cultural Landscapes: new horizons and challenges for research, conservation, and valorisation

The conference stems from the need for a renewed discussion between historical and archaeological research and Cultural Heritage management around “cultural landscapes”.

If research on this topic has a well-established tradition, especially in archaeology, discussion in the field of cultural heritage has only recently started, with only but few examples of safeguard and valorisation plans implemented for cultural landscapes.

The need to implement long-term and effective safeguard and valorisation plans is increasingly urgent: climate change and uncontrolled urban and agricultural developments are only few of the threats that cultural landscapes are more and more frequently facing, resulting in major historical information losses as well as dramatic social and economic damages.

In the belief that historical disciplines could offer an important contribution to the management of cultural landscapes, the conference aims to bridge the gap between the two field. International recognised archaeologists and historians and representatives of international institutions and experts from the cultural heritage management will share their experiences and open a discussion on possible approaches to the research, safeguard, and valorisation of cultural landscapes.

Location: 
Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium (Hybrid format) Campus du Solbosch, Salle AY2.112
Registration link to participate online

For information, please contact:
Nicolò Pini, Nicolo.Pini@ulb.be

 

26th May 2022  2.00 pm – 6.00 pm

2.00 pm – 2.20 pm Greetings and conference Opening

8Section 1: Theory and Methodology of “Cultural Landscapes” 

Chair: Agnes Vokaer

2.20 pm – 3.00 pm Stefano Campana (Università degli Studi di Siena)
Water Management and Agricultural Landscapes in the ager Rusellanus (Tuscany, Italy) in the longue durée

3.00 pm – 3.40 pm Anna Leone (Durham University) and Marco Nebbia (UCL)
Managing and Protecting the Endangered Heritage of the Nafusa mountains Libya

3.40 pm – 4.00 pm Coffee Break

4.00 pm – 4.40 pm Sauro Gelichi (Università Ca’ Foscari di Venezia), Silvia Cadamuro (Università Ca’ Foscari di Venezia) and Stefano Campana (University of Siena) (with contributions by A. Granzo and S. Grosso)
Searching for other Venetians. Communities at the border of the lagoon during the early Middle Ages

4.40 pm – 5.20 pm Michele Nucciotti (Università di Firenze)
Cultural Landscapes of the Silk Roads in Armenia: research and challenges to valorisation

5.20 pm – 5.45 pm Discussion

 

27th May 2022  0.00 am – 5.30 pm 

8Section 2: Case studies 

Chair: Laurent Bavay

10.00 am – 10.40 am José Maria Martin Civantos (Universidad de Granada)
Historical irrigation systems. Building landscapes with water

10.40 am – 11.20 am Anthony Quickel (Philipps-Universität Marburg)
Reimagining Egypt’s Historical Landscape: Outcomes and Implications of the EGYLandscape Project 

11.20 am – 11.40 am Coffee Break

11.40 am – 12.20 pm Stephen McPhillips (CNRS / UMR 8167, Orient et Méditerranée), Letty ten Harkel (University of Oxford) and Jennie Bradbury (Bryn Mawr College)
Archaeological survey in a forested mountainous zone in Mount Lebanon: From an Ottoman-period productive landscape to a Biosphere Reserve 

12.20 pm – 1.00 pm Giorgia Cesaro (UNESCO)
Safeguarding Petra ancient cultural landscape and supporting the livelihoods of local communities

1.00 pm – 2.30 pm Lunch

8Section 3: Protecting and Valorising Cultural Landscapes

Chair: Nicolò Pini

2.30 pm – 3.10 pm Dario Scarpati (Ecomuseo delle Madonie, archaeologist)
A practical experience to live the three pillars “heritage, territory and community”: the Ecomuseum of the Madonie

3.50 pm – 4.30 pm Federica Maietti (Università di Ferrara)

Cultural Heritage at risk. Digital strategies for management, safeguard and enhancement of cultural sites and landscapes

4.30 pm – 5.10 pm Mounir Bouchenaki (Expert, Advisor to UNESCO and the Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage - Bahrain)
The Tassili National Park (Algeria), open-air museum

10.00 pm – 5.30 pm Discussion

 

28th May 2022  0.00 am – 1.00 pm 

10.00 am – 12.00 am Round Table (moderator Nicolò Pini)
Mónica Luengo Añón (ICOMOS)
Maja Kominko (ALIPH Foundation)
Victor Brunfaut (ULB)

12.00 am – 12.20 am Coffee Break

12.20 am – 13.00 pm Final discussion and conference closing

 

Abstracts

Stefano Campana (Department of History and Cultural Heritage – University of Siena)

Water Management and Agricultural Landscapes in the ager Rusellanus (Tuscany, Italy) in the longue durée.

This talk is reporting the ongoing results of a research programme, Emptyscapes, designed to stimulate changes in the traditional ways in which researchers study the archaeology of landscapes – moving from an essentially «site» based approach to a more comprehensive landscape-scale perspective. After more than a decade of integrated survey and three years of test excavation we have demonstrated that in some circumstances it is possible to apply this combination of «traditional», «new» and complementary strategies successfully, and in doing so to seek answers to entirely new archaeological questions opening up unprecedent historical scenarios.

Anna Leone (Department of Archaeology – Durham University) and Marco Nebbia (Institute of Archaeology - UCL)

Managing and Protecting the Endangered Heritage of the Nafusa mountains Libya

The paper focuses on work conducted on Heritage at risk, with a collaborative scheme for the development of a protocol for recording and managing the cultural heritage in Libya. Due to the political instability the protection of heritage has been very difficult in Libya, the Nafusa has suffered a long-term neglect, because the region it is inhabited by the Imazighen, whose expression of identity and language has been forbidden by Ghaddafi since 1973. After the revolution in 2011, heritage professionals in Libya have been offered several training courses, the one developed to protect the Nafusa Mountains differs substantially from all the others, as the staff for the Department of Antiquities of Libya worked on the field  and was directly involved  in the data collection and analysis, with the aim of developing a joint protocol for the for the application of remote sensing and geographical information systems (GIS) to the preservation and monitoring of Libyan cultural heritage. The training on the Nafusa involved, using high resolution satellite images, the assessment of site visibility, archaeological mapping, the creation of a GIS spatial database of field data, and the mapping of risks and threats to archaeology from remote sensing data. This led to the creation of a risk map identifying the threats. The results of this work have now been implemented into a new project funded by Aliph.

Sauro Gelichi (Università Ca’ Foscari di Venezia), Silvia Cadamuro (Università Ca’ Foscari di Venezia), and Stefano Campana (University of Siena) (with contributions by A. Granzo and S. Grosso)

Searching for other Venetians. Communities at the border of the lagoon during the early Middle Ages

Venice is the result of a process lasting several centuries. Between the 6th and 12th centuries, other settlements and communities flourished in and around the lagoon, some of which had a strong institutional profile. One of these communities that later disappeared developed on the northern edge of the lagoon, near the estuary of the river Piave (Equilo). The aim of this paper is to explain the reasons behind the project on ancient Equilo, what the archaeological approach strategies have been and what results have been achieved so far, thanks to the use of innovative diagnostic tools and methods.  Starting from the research carried out in the last century near the ruins of the ancient cathedral church of Equilo, the new archaeological project moved towards: the reconstruction of the historical-settlement sequence over a long period of time (currently from the 3rd-4th century A.D. to the 13th century); the determination of the biological profile of the inhabitants (thanks to a targeted project of analysis and study of a medieval cemetery context near the church of San Mauro);  finally, the reconstruction of the changing palaeo-environmental profile in relation to the settlement structures.       

Michele Nucciotti (University of Florence – SAGAS)

Cultural Landscapes of the Silk Roads in Armenia: research and challenges to valorisation

The Armenian region of Vayots Dzor is a very promising territorial context for addressing mediaeval cultural landscape formation in relation to present day social values of resident and tourist communities. In particular, surviving material heritage of the 9th to 14th centuries, related to the development of international connectivity and the structuring of the Silk Roads network, highlights alternate periods of full Armenian control as well as epochs in which Armenian lordly jurisdiction was limited by imperial super powers. At territorial level, Florence University light archaeology surveys showed how the material organisation of settlement and connectivity in the Middle Ages, responded to both needs, creating, side by side, imperial (Mongolian/Ilkhanid) and royal/Armenian landscapes. From this point of view, Vayots Dzor shows its high relevance in relation to both Medieval Eurasian and National Armenian histories. The conflicting present-day attitude towards non-national histories in Armenia reflects in the preservation and valorization of the cultural heritage of Vayots Dzor. Examples of such cultural appropriation/rejection process will be presented, with reference to case studies investigated by the Florence University project “The Making of the Silk Roads in Armenia”.

José Maria Martin Civantos (Universidad de Granada)

Historical irrigation systems. Building landscapes with water.

Traditional and Historical Irrigation Agroecosystem are vivid, resilient and worth preserving complex infrastructure of Mediterranean water management. Historical water management techniques and irrigation strategies are characteristic all around arid and semiarid Mediterranean countries and share long traditions of knowledge and of careful use of existing resources, water in particular. In al-Andalus, the so-called "agricultural revolution" is best understood from the perspective of the irrigation systems, although other technical innovations as well as farmers traditional ecological knowledge contributed to it. Nonetheless, the revolutionary basis was water management, which allowed the introduction of new plants, diversifying productions, but also changes in land uses and social relationships. These systems were responsible for transforming the landscapes of many different geographical areas. However, its application goes beyond mere technological or descriptive aspects. When intensive irrigation is introduced, a very different economic option becomes available, in which social management carries out an equal or more important role. Therefore, when this strategy expands and eventually becomes preferential, labor social organization and governance become fundamental.

Anthony T. Quickel (Research Fellow and Project Coordinator, EGYLandscape Project, Philipps-Universität Marburg)

Reimagining Egypt’s Historical Landscape: Outcomes and Implications of the EGYLandscape Project

The EGYLandscape Project has aimed to explore the historical landscapes of Egypt throughout the thirteenth and eighteenth centuries. In doing this, it has brought together multiple disciplines and time periods (Mamluk and early Ottoman) as the state of research on Egypt’s natural and human spaces had reached a threshold where reflection could not progress otherwise. This dilemma arose because archaeologists had already become sensitive to the natural and human contexts of settlements but faced an absence of data for the Islamic period, especially after the twelfth century. Whereas, historians – especially medievalists – deal with a limited corpus of available sources when moving towards initiating the fields of rural and environmental studies beyond traditionally Cairo-focused histories. In doing this, the EGYLandscape project has opened up several avenues to better understanding the interplay of past Egyptian societies with their natural landscape. Land use, irrigation and water management, and agricultural knowledge and practices are all important aspects of the project’s purview. So, too, however are issues of nature and landscape in the artistic, literary, and cultural production of pre-modern Egypt. Having such a broad scope, the EGYLandscape Project has represented a major first effort to coordinate an exploration of all of these issues within the project’s geographic and temporal scope. This presentation will look at the scholarly inroads made by the EGYLandscape Project, as well as some of the project’s outcomes and their implications for future study and work.

Stephen McPhillips (CNRS / UMR 8167, Orient et Méditerranée 27, Paris), Letty ten Harkel (EAMENA project, School of Archaeology, Oxford), and Jennie Bradbury (Bryn Mawr College)

Archaeological survey in a forested mountainous zone in Mount Lebanon: From an Ottoman-period productive landscape to a Biosphere Reserve

The Jabal Moussa Archaeological Survey (JMAS) is a collaborative project (2018–2021) between the Jabal Moussa Biosphere Reserve— a Lebanese non-governmental and non-profit organization — and a team of landscape archaeologists. It has conducted a multi-scalar investigation of the archaeology and heritage of the Jabal Moussa Biosphere Reserve from prehistory to the present day, highlighting evidence for agricultural and artisanal productivity. This paper will first discuss the methodological challenges of the survey of the Jabal Moussa Biosphere Reserve, located on the middle flanks of Mount Lebanon between 700 and 1800m above sea level, characterized by steep relief and heavy vegetation cover. Second, it will present a summary of its results. The JMAS has confirmed historical and oral history accounts that much of the now-remote mountain was in fact an economically productive resource for much of its earlier history. This is particularly true of the Ottoman period through to the early twentieth century, an under-explored period in Lebanese archaeology. For that reason, the project also documented selected elements of the stone-built architecture that survive on the mountain, providing new insights into past patterns of exploitation and modes of living on a microscale, adding detail to the landscape-level JMAS survey.

Giorgia Cesaro (Senior Project Officer – UNESCO Jordan Office)

Safeguarding Petra ancient cultural landscape and supporting the livelihoods of local communities

Petra is an extensively researched site mostly known for its archaeological heritage, being inscribed on the World Heritage List as a cultural property. The site however also represents a unique cultural landscape carrying both natural and intangible values that need to be equally protected. As part of a series of initiatives (2016-2021) carried out by the UNESCO Jordan office, the ancient landscape has been preserved, soil erosion reduced, and a number of measures implemented to mitigate the impact of natural hazards on the higher plateaus of the Petra Archaeological Park. The present paper intends to present the work carried out and the methodology adopted for the safeguarding of Petra's ancient cultural landscape while at the same time supporting the livelihoods of the local communities living in the vicinity of the site who have been employed through a cash-for-work approach for the implementation of the interventions.

Dario Scarpati (Ecomuseo delle Madonie, archaeologist)

A practical experience to live the three pillars “heritage, territory and community”: the Ecomuseum of the Madonie

The shared management of a homogeneous cultural and geographical territory has led, over the years, first to the creation of the “MUSEA” museum network and now to the establishment of the Ecomuseum of the Madonie. Twenty-one Municipalities are involved in the project, which highlight two types of landscape: the first characterized by mountains and woods, the second by hills and valleys. The large availability of water, woods and fauna, fertile soils, favored human settlement in this area since prehistoric time. Framed between mountains and cultivated countryside, the castles and bell towers of these twenty-one urban centers – mostly dating back to the medieval period – dominate these valleys with landscape effects of rare beaty. Furthermore, due to its naturalistic and cultural relevance, the Madonie Geopark has become part of the European Network of Geoparks, also obtaining UNESCO recognition. The Ecomuseum of the Madonie places the territory as a whole at the center of its attention: it is the “place” where the identity and diversity of their landscapes, the interdependence between naturalistic and cultural heritage, the material and immaterial culture rooted here over the centuries, can be made legible and appreciable again – first of all to the Madonite people. These are the values that must guide, with the utmost coherence, the choices per the sustainable development of the future. The participation of the population is the key that legitimizes the Ecomuseum; this is fully supported by local political and economic structures, as well as by a team of experts.

Federica Maietti (Department of Architecture, University of Ferrara. Co-scientific manager of the International Academy “After the Damages”, member of the scientific coordinator team of the EU project 4CH)

Cultural Heritage at risk. Digital strategies for management, safeguard and enhancement of cultural sites and landscapes

The increasing occurrence of disasters such as floods, earthquakes, fires and pollution can cause irreversible damage to cultural heritage, or destroy entire areas. Cultural sites and landscapes are under threat, also from man-made damage and from extreme climate change events. In this scenario, a holistic approach to documentation also through digital strategies can be a strong support to preserving threatened sites and making them accessible to future generations. The lecture will explore the connections between the topics of heritage at risk and digital innovation, by presenting some insights and case studies from two different research experiences. The International Academy “After the Damages - Prevention and safety solutions through design and practice on existing built environment” aimed at deepening methodologies for the analysis, mitigation, and risk management. And the 4CH - Competence Centre for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage ongoing project, funded by the European Commission to initiate the implementation of a Competence Centre to provide cultural, scientific, technological, financial, strategic and policy expertise exploiting the most advanced digital technologies. In this context, the role that digital technologies can play in the documentation, planning, preservation and management of cultural landscapes will be explored through methodological approaches and exemplifying case studies of investigation, enhancement and preservation of heritage sites. 

Mounir Bouchenaki (Expert, Advisor to UNESCO and the Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage, Bahrain)

The Tassili National Park (Algeria), open-air museum

In 1982, UNESCO inscribed Tassili N'Ajjer on the List of World Cultural and Natural Heritage. It is an area of nearly 150,000 square kilometers within which the National Park now called Cultural Park covers 78,000 square kilometers. This appointment has made it the largest open-air museum in the world. The creation, by the Algerian authorities, in 1974, of the Tassili National Park Office, responsible for the management and protection of this heritage, demonstrated an awareness of the exceptional value of this unique testimony to the Neolithic past in a natural landscape of remarkable diversity. It is today one of the jewels of the cultural landscapes of the Algerian Sahara.

 

Contacts

Prof. Stefano Campana

Department of History and Cultural Heritage – University of Siena

stefano.campana@unisi.it

 

Prof. Anna Leone

Department of Archaeology – Durham University

Phone: +44 (0) 191 33 41140

anna.leone@durham.ac.uk

 

Prof. Sauro Gelichi

Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici - Università Ca' Foscari 

Director of the Centro Studi di Archeologia Venezia (CeSAV)

Director of the Centro Interuniversitario per la Storia e l'Archeologia dell'Alto Medioevo

Palazzo Malcanton Marcorà - Dorsoduro 3484/D - 30123 Venezia, Italy

Phone: +39 (0) 412346319

gelichi@unive.it

 

Prof. Michele Nucciotti

University of Florence – SAGAS

Via San Gallo 10, 50129 Florence (Italy)

michele.nucciotti@unifi.it

 

Prof. José Mª Martín Civantos

MEMOLab. Laboratorio de Arqueología Biocultural - Universidad de Granada

civantos@go.ugr.es

https://blogs.ugr.es/memolab/

https://www.memolaproject.eu

https://www.regadiohistorico.es

https://www.patrimonioguadix.es

https://www.cyted.org/es/syca

 

Anthony T. Quickel

Research Fellow and Project Coordinator, EGYLandscape Project

Philipps-Universität Marburg

quickel@staff.uni-marburg.de

 

Dr. Stephen McPhillips

CNRS / UMR 8167, Orient et Méditerranée

27, rue Paul Bert 94204 Ivry-sur-Seine cedex France

Mobile: +33 6 52 33 69 43

stephen.mcphillips@cnrs.fr

 

Dr. Letty ten Harkel

School of Archaeology - University of Oxford

1-2 South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3TG, United Kingdom

Mobile: +44 (0)1865-611662

http://oxford.academia.edu/LettytenHarkel

 

Dr. Giorgia Cesaro

Senior Project Officer – UNESCO Jordan Office

g.cesaro@unesco.org

 

Dr. Dario Scarpati

Archaeologist and museum accessibility expert, Ecomuseo delle Madonie

Mobile: +39 339 8266457

scarpatidario@gmail.com

 

Prof. Federica Maietti

Department of Architecture | University of Ferrara

DIAPReM Center

Co-scientific manager of the International Academy “After the Damages”, member of the scientific coordinator team of the EU project 4CH

INCEPTION Inclusive Cultural Heritage in Europe through 3D semantic modelling (www.inception-project.eu)

Mobile + 39 338 2595898

federica.maietti@unife.it

 

Dr. Mounir Bouchenaki

Expert, Advisor to UNESCO and the Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage (Bahrain).

Former Director of Cultural Heritage in Algeria (1975-1982), At UNESCO he was Director of Cultural Heritage at UNESCO (1992-1998), Director of the World Heritage Centre 1999-2000) Assistant-Director General for Culture (2000-2005), Director General of ICCROM-Rome (2006- 2012)

mounir.bouchenaki@gmail.com

 

Dr. Mónica Luengo Añón

ICOMOS

Former President and Honorary Member of the International Scientific Committee on Cultural Landscapes ICOMOS-IFLA

monica@atpaisaje.com

 

Dr. Maja Kominko

Scientific and Programs Director, ALIPH Foundation

maja.kominko@aliph-foundation.org

 

Prof. Victor Brunfaut

Faculté d'Architecture Campus Solbosch - Flagey - CP 248/01

Place Eugène Flagey, 19 1050 Bruxelles. Phone: +32 (0)2 650 69 28

victor.brunfaut@ulb.be

 

 

 

The conference is supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 801505 (H2020-MSCACOFUND-2017 IF@ULB).