By China P Shelton

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Extra info for Food, economy, and identity in the Sangro River Valley, Abruzzo, Italy, 650 B.C.-A.D. 150

Sample text

D. The construction methods and artifact assemblage seem to be typical of Roman rural sites of this period. Terracotta rooftiles, stone construction, much more common metal (both iron and bronze, including many iron nail fragments and a bronze bracelet) and glass fragments make this site easily distinguishable from its IronAge counterpart. Features of interest include three walls (possibly both exterior and interior), and a cocciopesto basin, indicative of agricultural/villa-rustica type production.

Research in the middle valley has focused on the topographic feature of Monte Pallano (FIG. 5). As mentioned, Monte Pallano is a long limestone ridge and is one of the most prominent landforms in this area as one enters the Apennine mountain range from its eastern side (FIG. 6). The highest point of the ridge is 1020 m, from which a saddle ca. 5 km wide slopes off to the south (FIG. 7). This saddle ends at a lower summit called La Toretta. Generally, the most gradual descents from Monte Pallano are found on the south side beyond La Toretta, through Acquachiara and to the east toward the modern village of Tornareccio.

Much discussion of Samnite lifeways has depended primarily upon classical texts and references and not on actual archaeological data; this fact applies to much of the research on agricultural economies here and elsewhere in Italy and the Empire. This projection is not always ap- 31 propriate given the different environments involved. Agriculture that takes places in montane/submontane environments may be particularly unsuited to interpretation based on Roman authors, such as Cato and Columella, who wrote primarily about large-scale farming on the coastal plains.

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