Social Structure and Territory. Landscape Archaeology (EST-AP)

Researcher in charge: Inés Sastre Prats

Roman mine in La Canduerca, Sierra de Begega (Asturias)

Research of EST-AP Group is focused on the study of the landscape as the result of the synthesis of social relations and the environment, always in a diachronic perspective. This means that spatial relations are the basis which allows the understanding of how ancient societies worked and changed, providing the scientific foundation for turning the archaeological record into a sustainable Cultural Heritage resource.

• The fundamental objective is the study of historical processes affecting both protohistorical communities and Hispanic provincial society, in particular during the transition from the pre-Roman to Roman periods, and during the Early Empire. The group considers both the integral study of the archaeological record ––from geoarchaeology to material culture–– and the written evidence available.

• The main study area is the northwestern quadrant of the Iberian Peninsula, in particular the territories ascribed to the Asturians, Gallaecians, Cantabrians and northern Lusitania. The research group also carries out similar studies in other peninsular areas characterised by ancient mining activity. These regional studies have enabled collaboration with other national and European research groups, specially relating to preindustrial rural and mining landscapes.

• The study of social formations indulges in the theoretical debate regarding how past societies worked, and how they constructed space ––territorialisation processes–– throughout time. The goal is to develop an archaeologically-based social theory, on par with anthropology or sociology, which can contribute to social sciences in general.

• The research group applies analytical and interpretive methods and techniques to cultural landscapes aiming to contribute historical knowledge with a trans-disciplinary perspective ––converging with social and earth sciences––, which can through dissemination generate innovative resources for the planning and exploitation of the territory as heritage. The research group enjoys extensive experience in the use of spatial analysis techniques applied to archaeology (geoarchaeology, geo-information systems, topography, cartography and aerial photography).