Thursday, 28 August 2014

EthWAL Fieldwork 2014

The 2014 fieldwork campaign of the EthWAL project has just ended. It was very productive, although the weather was sometimes quite challenging! A lot of data were collected, and will be processed and interpreted in the next months.
During this campaign two archaeological excavations were carried out in the two sample areas of this project: Val Maudagna (Piedmont, Italy) and Vallee de Freissinieres (Dept. des Hautes-Alpes, Parc National des Ecrins, France). In the Val Maudagna the archaeological investigations focused on a dry stone hut still used by the local herders. The site is called Sella Brignola, and is located in Val della Brignola, an upland valley in the Magliano Alpi municipality. An interesting stratigraphy was identified in the area of the fireplace, and it is expected to return significant data not only for defining the chronology of this structure, but also for inferring its exploitation and ancient function (if different from the current).
The upland double hut of Sella Brignola (Val Maudagna, Piedmont, Italy)
In the Vallee de Freissinieres, an abandoned dry stone hut have been excavated. It was named Faravel 44, and returned interesting data that enabled to recognize the phases of abandonment, post-abandonment and collapse of this structure. Historical documents and interviews with local herders and farmers enabled to set up an historical and anthropological framework that suggests why this structure (and other similar structures in the same area) was built, how it was exploited and why and when it was abandoned.
The Faravel 44 site (Vallee de Freissinieres, Dept. des Hautes-Alpes, France)
Further data will be provided by the analyses that will be undertaken later this year. These will give important insights to disentangle the complex history of the studied huts and the upland landscapes within which they were built.