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L'occupation romaine et médiévale dans la Plaine de Pise. Analyse morphologique des formes agraires et urbaines, et étude des dynamiques paysagères

Abstract : The plain of Pisa, located in northwestern Tuscany, close to the Arno River’s delta, which flows into the Ligurian Sea near the town of Pisa after 241 km, is the result of different geomorphological processes (erosion, transport, accumulation). These are mainly conditioned by the fluvial and marine system (fluvial sedimentary accumulation, formation of the delta system, progradation of the coastline), as well as by human intervention, which together have led to its current formation. The abundance of natural resources, in particular water resources, the geographical location and the accessibility of the plain are some of the factors that have favoured a stable and lasting settlement since the Lower Palaeolithic. The populations that lived here over the course of the historical periods, however, had to face the changing and dynamic character of the plain, and in particular the force of the water, which represented an inestimable resource as well as an unpredictable danger. The research carried out during this PhD particularly focuses on the study of two historical phases that were crucial in the formation of the Pisa plain: the Roman and the medieval periods. The interventions carried out at the time of the Augustan colonization (I century BC) transformed the plain, impacting the rural landscape through the construction of a new agrarian system or the centuriation of Pisa, which still significantly structures the hydric network, the road network and the settlement system today. The transformation and transmission process of the orthogonal grid requires a developed analysis of the factors that have made it “visible” during different historical phases. This is especially true for the medieval period, which is characterised by the “return” of the Municipality of Pisa, a centralised power that was able to exercise greater control over territory and water resources. This research aims to reconstruct the main characteristics and the different evolutionary phases of the centuriated landscape over the centuries through the study of the palaeoenvironmental and palaeohydrographic dynamics that have affected Pisa even before Roman colonization.An interdisciplinary and diachronic methodological approach was applied in order to best identify and understand the natural and anthropic factors that have conditioned this “constructive” process over time. The morphological analysis of the urban and agrarian parcels allowed the recognition of the organisational forms of the Pisan landscape, in particular of the centurial grid and the phenomena of transmission and deformation of its constituent elements. The integration of the stratigraphic database (enriched by a coring campaign carried out in 2016 in collaboration with several Italian universities) with the historical-archaeological, archival and planimetric data has made it possible to obtain new results on the pedosedimentary and paleohydrographic evolution of the Pisan plain. It has also permitted us to propose new hypotheses on the paleogeography of the Roman period as well as its evolution over the centuries.Surface and subsoil surveys have made it possible to reconstruct the relationship between the settlement system, the forms of exploitation and management of resources, the palaeoenvironmental and palaeohydrographic transformations and the morphological dynamics (modes of transmission and/or transformation of the centurial grid) over the long term, demonstrating that the visible centuriation in its “most updated” version is the result of a long and continuous process of human-environment interaction.
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Arianna Commodari. L'occupation romaine et médiévale dans la Plaine de Pise. Analyse morphologique des formes agraires et urbaines, et étude des dynamiques paysagères. Histoire. COMUE Université Côte d'Azur (2015 - 2019); Università degli studi La Sapienza (Rome), 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018AZUR2029⟩. ⟨tel-02059927⟩

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