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This chapter sets the intellectual context of the volume within other studies of the Etruscans and the historical development of the field. This is a volume about the organisation of the spatial patterns of the Etruscans and not of art and material culture which is complementary to other approaches to the subject. A particular emphasis is given to the themes of literacy and settlement, since these can be expressed spatially. The Anno Etrusco of 1985 is one moment in the historiography of the Etruscans given especial emphasis as a time of reflection to provide a comparison with the present. The traditions of settlement recovery at that time can be broken down into three traditions: the topographic archive, predictive work and regional survey. Careful filtering of these data now allows the presentation of a synthesis of which this volume is one first stage.
The concluding chapter highlights the salient features of Etruscan spatial organisation. The study has identified distinctive and varied trajectories between city territories and identified different types of frontiers between them. Questions are also posed and answers proposed as to why nucleation took place. Broad comparisons are also made with examples of state formation outside Etruria. Further work is merited to get properly to grips with the rural settlement patterns, specifically the comparative use of the extensive field surveys which have been practised in Central Italy. A further challenge is to write one book which brings the cultural riches of the Etruscans together with their lived landscape, building on previous attempts by the current author with Nigel Spivey and Graeme Barker with Tom Rasmussen. This is work for the future.
The first section of the chapter sets out the methodology for understanding two key dimensions of the spatial patterns of Etruria: hierarchy and boundaries. These are addressed by rank size and XTENT respectively. The second section of the chapter brings Etruria into the analysis by tackling issues of chronology, post-depostional distortions, sampling, site definition, prior use of rank size and causal mechanisms.
The chapter covers the geography and resources that enabled state formation in Etruria. The first section of the chapter covers the physiography of landscape, relative to the sea, rivers, geology and mountains. The landscape is broken down into four regions: the coast, the Tuscan uplands, the volcanic South and the inland tectonic valleys. These are then matched with the potential of agriculture and minerals, and followed by the application of technology to these resources. This section traces the development of agriculture and metallurgy.
This chapter defines and interprets the imposition of power on the landscape as implemented by the centralised forces outlined in the previous chapter. The is expressed dynamically by deploying the XTENT technique as a heuristic technique. The technique is presented critically to show to what extent the imposition of power works on the Etruscan landscape.
This chapter combines all the settlement evidence to present five regions of contrast: South Etruria (Veii, Nepi, Cerveteri, Tarquinia, Tuscania, Bisenzio, Acquarossa, Orvieto, Vulci); the Albegna valley; Maremma (Populonia, Vetulonia, Roselle, Murlo, Volterra, Pisa, Val d’Arno, Fiesole); Chiusi; Perugia and Gubbio. The result is a tapestry of variation, showing that Etruscans cities operated differently in the different political and geogaphical contexts.
The chapter addresses and reviews the role of connectivity in Etruria and its relationship to settlement distributions by examining various classes of material culture ranging from metalwork to ceramics to inscriptions. The aim is to show how the rich studies of Etruscan material culture overlay the political organisation of the landscape.
This chapter measures the varied levels of hierarchy, as they developed over time, focused on South Etruria. These trends show an increase and then fluctuations in centralisation. A broader comparison is made with North Etruria and Umbria where quantification of these trends is more difficult to assess. The chapter ends with a more qualitative analysis of the levels of hierarchy more typically represented by South Etruria, covering primate centres, marginal centres, coastal emporia, internal emporium, politically dependent tertiary centres, boundary temples, villages, rural settlement
This volume fills a gap in the study of an important, yet neglected case of state formation, by taking a landscape perspective to Etruria. Simon Stoddart examines the infrastructure, hierarchy/heterarchy and spatial patterns of the Etruscans over time to investigate their political development from a new perspective. The analysis both crosses the divide from prehistory to history and applies a scaled analysis to the whole region between the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Arno and Tiber rivers, with special focus on the neglected region between Populonia on the coast and Perugia and the north Umbrian region adjoining the Apennines. Stoddart uncovers the powerful places that were in dynamic tension not only between themselves, but also with the internal structure constituted by the descent groups that peopled them. He unravels the dynamically changing landscape of changing boundaries and buffer zones which contained robust urbanism, as well as less centralized, polyfocal nucleations.