Archaeology of Mountain Landscapes

Interdisciplinary Research Strategies of Agro-Pastoralism in Upland Regions

Edited by Arnau Garcia-Molsosa

Subjects: Archaeology, Anthropology
Series: SUNY series, The Institute for European and Mediterranean Archaeology Distinguished Monograph Series
Hardcover : 9781438489872, 434 pages, October 2023
Paperback : 9781438489889, 434 pages, April 2024

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Table of contents


1. Mountain Landscapes: The Archaeological Perspective
Arnau Garcia-Molsosa

2. Steps Lost: Mountains as Sacred Topographies?
Felipe Criado-Boado (with Ana Ruíz-Blanch in section 4)

3. Toward an Anthropology of Sacred Mountains
Phillips Stevens Jr.

4. An Integrated Approach to the Archaeology of a Sacred Mountain: Sacred Geography, Mobile Pastoralism, and Longue Duree in the Mongolian Altai Mountains
Cecilia Dal Zovo

5. The Mountainscape of the Peak Sanctuary at Leska on Kythera
Mercourios Georgiadis

6. Exploring Seasonal Transhumance of Hunter-Gatherers and Neolithic Pastoralists in Poland’s High Tatras and Foothill Lowlands: Applying Landscape Archaeology Methodologies from the Colorado Rockies to the Western Carpathians
Robert H. Brunswig and Pawel Valde-Nowak

7. The Onset of Alpine Pastoral Systems in the Eastern Alps
Klaus D. Oeggl, Daniela Festi, and Andreas Putzer

8. Central Alpine Environments as Mountain Cultural Landscapes from Prehistory to Contemporary Past
Franco Nicolis

9. Mountain Archaeology of the Bronze Age Caucasus: From Vertical Pastoralism to Combined Mountain Economy and Mountain Farming
Sabine Reinhold, Andrey B. Belinskiy, and Dmitrij S. Korobov

10. Landscape Archaeology in Eastern Pyrenees High Mountain Areas (Segre and Ter Valleys, Northeast Iberian Peninsula): Human Activities in the Shaping of Mountain Cultural Landscapes
Josep M. Palet, Hèctor A. Orengo, Arnau Garcia-Molsosa, Tania Polonio, Ana Ejarque, Yannick Miras, and Santiago Riera

11. Southern Norway’s Mountain Landscapes: Between National Romantic Legends and the Political Economy of Agropastoralism
Christopher Prescott and Lene Melheim

12. Comparison between Medieval and Modern Landscape: The Impact of Pastoral Activities in South Greenland
Emilie Gauthier

13. Neolithic Penetration of the European Mid-Mountains
Pawel Valde-Nowak

14. Addressing the Complexity of the Paleoenvironmental Impact of Prehistoric Settlement and Protohistoric Urbanism in the Auvergne Mountains (Massif Central, France)
Yannick Miras, Michela Mariani, Florian Couderc, Marlène Lavrieux, and Paul M. Ledger

15. Holocene Anthropization of Mid-elevation Landscapes around Pic d’Orhy, Western Pyrenees
Michael R. Coughlan, David S. Leigh, Paul M. Ledger, and Mélanie Le Couédic

16. Highlands and Lowlands—Different Landscapes, Different Archaeologies? A Diachronic Micro-regional Case Study from the Western Taurus Mountains (Southwest Turkey)
Ralf Vandam, Eva Kaptijn, Patrick T. Willett, and Jeroen Poblome

17. Developing a Systematic Approach to the Archaeological Study of Mountain Landscapes: The Raganello Basin Experience
Martijn van Leusen, Wieke de Neef, and Jan Sevink

18. Agropastoralism in a Dispersed Village, Mountain Economy: Results of the Shala Valley Project, Northern Albania
Michael L. Galaty

19. The Inka Landscape of Cusco and the Watanay Valley: Territorial Patterns in Andean Cities
José Alejandro Beltrán-Caballero and Ricardo Mar

20. On the Supposed Marginality of Mountain Areas
Hèctor A. Orengo


Explores mountain regions as cultural landscapes that have been shaped by long-term human-environment interactions.


Mountains contain a rich and diverse set of remnants left by human societies. They have been inhabited since prehistory and have been transformed by human activity during prehistorical and historical times, and that history defines mountain landscapes as we know them today. Archaeology of Mountain Landscapes contains twenty contributions by forty-one specialists currently researching mountain areas in the Americas, Asia, and Europe. The different case studies address the subject diachronically, ranging from prehistory to modern times, and employ a variety of methodological strategies, including archaeological surveys and excavation, paleoenvironmental studies, and historical and ethnographical research.

This volume demonstrates how multidisciplinary archaeological fieldwork is radically changing our vision of mountain landscapes. Viewing mountain landscapes as archaeological documents contributes to our understanding of the history of mountain environments and offers new archaeological datasets to use in the interpretation of human societies. Taken together, the essays collected here offer a comprehensive view of current research and suggest new directions for future study.

Arnau Garcia-Molsosa is a Researcher at the Catalan Institute of Classical Archaeology in Spain.