Constructing Messapian Landscapes
Over the last three decades, archaeologists have progressively embarked on field-walking projects all around the Mediterranean basin. The aim of most of these projects is to investigate the ancient settlement and landscape dynamics of specific Mediterranean regions. They greatly contribute to the new liveliness which characterizes present-day classical archaeology, not only by introducing new research methods but also, and in particular, by widening its subject matter to include the history of societies in the margins of the Graeco-Roman urban world. It is within this recent tradition that the present book has been written; the author aims to examine the ancient settlement and societal dynamics of the Brindisi region, in the north-east of the Salento peninsula. The field surveys indicate that during the pre-Roman period the regional society was characterized by processes of centralization and urbanization. Subsequently, from the 3rd century BC onwards, it gradually integrated into the Roman orbit. Burgers emphasizes an active indigenous role in the succesive colonial situations in southern Italy. He focuses on the internal dynamics of the local communities and investigates how social strategies manifested themselves, especially in external contacts and in the organization of settlement and landscape.