Resurgences: exploring the ecologies of abandonment

The purpose of the teaching project is to introduce students to the diachronic study of the abandoned landscapes of the Apuan-Versilian area, exploring the places of “resurgence”, or those areas that have been the scene of economic and subsistence activities and which are now abandoned. Students will be invited to explore responses multispecies to the abandonment of pastures, forests, cultivated areas, and quarries, documenting how pioneer species (animals and plants) occupy the spaces and how the study of these dynamics can offer important information to reconstruct the multifaceted stories of the mountains.
The landscape of the Versilian slopes is the result of a succession of abandonments that have set forth its economic and social marginality: the abandonment of houses and land; the interruption of agricultural, pastoral, and mining practices; the loss of vegetal and faunal associations linked to the features of a disappeared landscape.

Planned activities:
1 Introductory in-depth seminars on project themes:
– Environmental archeology, understood in its broadest sense as ecological history of the interactions between humans and non-humans and the situated history of interspecies collaborations.
– The abandonment of the mountain areas, addressed in an archaeo-anthropological perspective.
– Material and immaterial memory, with a particular focus on the theoretical aspects relating to the intertwining of memory and landscape, individual and collective memories, and the materiality of memory.

2 Archaeological survey of the case study area, aimed at studying the tangible traces of the diachronic dynamics of settlement. During the campaign, students will be able to experiment with innovative methods for documenting archaeological evidence, geobotany, and sampling of rocks and sediments for environmental analysis.

3 Ethnographic collection of oral testimonies relating to the relationships with the mountain environment, the cultural imagery linked to the landscape, the sensory aspects, starting from the present to the past, to highlight the sedimentation of memory and oblivion.

Principal Investigator: Claudia Sciuto

Project by:
Francesca Anichini
Salvatore Basile
Fabio Dei

Caterina Di Pasquale
Gabriele Gattiglia
Nicola Trabucco

Project funded by Special Teaching fundings of University of Pisa 2022/2023