Paisajes rurales antiguos del noroeste peninsular: formas de dominación romana y explotación de recursos (CORUS)

Project details:

Call & Funding agency: Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad. Programa Estatal de Fomento de la Investigación Científica y Técnica de Excelencia

Execution centre: Institute of History, Centre for Human and Social Sciences, Madrid, CSIC (España).

Execution dates: Del 1-1-2016 al - 31-12-2019

Tabs group


The primary goal of the project is to determine the characteristics of the different forms of Roman imperialism and the transformation processes brought upon communities and territories. Rome established control mechanisms in those regions before effective military control had been established, and this entailed the dissolution of Iron Age social organization structures and the beginning of a new historical process. This early control, together with the actual submission of land and people which occurred during and after Augustus, enabled the systematic exploitation of rural and mining resources. This approach is based on the extensive research carried out by the group Social Structure and Territory-Landscape Archaeology in the Iron Age and Roman period of the Northwest and West of the Iberian Peninsula.

The project will, therefore, revolve around the characterization of a period between the 2nd Century BC and the beginning of the 1st Century AD, in which substantial changes occur in the historical processes of the region. This characterization will add substance to the interpretation of both the Iron Age and the Early Empire. This implies, on the one hand, the study of historical processes and domination strategies, including the segmentary interpretation of the Iron Age societies (particularly using spatial analysis and technological analysis of goldwork), the ethnic vision imposed by Rome which can be traced in the literary sources, and the characterization of Roman domination before and after Augustus. Parallel analyses will include the exploitation of resources (archaeomining, geoarchaeology, agrarian structures) aiming at defining the dynamics of Roman impact on the settlement pattern and territory and the paleoenvironment changes provoked by Roman intensification of production.

The study will include two scales of analysis. One supra-regional, understanding general historical processes affecting the whole Northwestern territory, and one regional. Two study areas have been planned, with significant already existing archaeological research carried out by the research group, which provide a solid basis for both the systematic analysis of existing data and the realization of new studies (including geo-archaeological and paleo-environmental analysis). These are, on the one hand, Northwestern Asturias-Eastern Lugo and, on the other, Northwestern Lusitania and southern Asturia.

The project requires an interdisciplinary methodology, integrating geoarchaeology and archaeobiology, different spatial analysis techniques and other archaeometrical analyses.

Likewise, the project includes knowledge transfer and result dissemination plans based on the cultural landscape as the key element to be improved, using archaeology as source of social innovation.