Chronology and landscape analysis in the Montagna Grande Valley of Western Sicily
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This study examines a region of the Montagna Grande valley of Western Sicily in order to: (1) create an accurate and meaningful chronology; (2) examine how the landscape met the needs and wants of the inhabitants as far as survival and comfort of living; (3) discover exactly how the land was utilized; and (4) obtain an image of size and type of settlement for each time period. Analysis is based upon the collection of finds through the extensive survey of the region, conducted in two parts: a 33% pedestrian coverage of the plowed fields in the valley (one individual every 15 meter transect) performed in a series of sweeps, and a more intensive 100% coverage of relevant sites once their boundaries were identified. Research in this area is significant because the sites examined are particularly culturally rich, and a continuous chronology can be seen over a long period of time (from the Neolithic to medieval times), an unusual occurrence for such a remote site. Conclusions provide a detailed picture of settlement through each time period, while examining the advantageous qualities of the landscape which provided the necessary conditions for such settlements.