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Translating geoarchaeology into geo-itineraries

Banerjea, R. Y. ORCID: (2021) Translating geoarchaeology into geo-itineraries. In: Barnett, C. and Walker, T. (eds.) Environment, Archaeology and Landscape: Papers in honour of Professor Martin Bell. Archaeopress, Oxford, pp. 135-144. ISBN 9781803270845

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To link to this item DOI: 10.32028/9781803270845


Martin Bell’s research into routeways of the past (Bell 2020) provided a stimulus for this paper, which explores ways to translate the important role that geoarchaeology plays in understanding past landscapes into heritage and tourist trails in relation to frontier landscapes in the Middle Ages with reference to ‘castlescapes’ (Banerjea et al. 2019). In effect, the creation of tourist trails and geo-educational itineraries can utilise patterns of movement made by historic agents for current and future movement. UNESCO Global Geoparks and National Parks provide an ideal setting to use geoarchaeology to synergise the presentation of cultural and natural heritage in their past landscapes. This is done to some extent in Italy, with researchers looking for new ways to link and present cultural and geoscientific data (Brandolini et al. 2019; Giodarno et al. 2016). Giodarno et al. (2016) examine the ‘Franks Trail’, a route crossing 60 km the Susa Valley territory that follows the path blazed by Charlemagne in A. D. 773 which is located within the ‘Cottian Alps Geopark’. They reconsider the ‘Franks Trail’ as a geo-itinerary due to the presence along the path of many interesting sites both from the geological and the cultural point of view; the geo-itinerary itself is developed to improve tourism and scientific knowledge and in this example showcases the formation of landforms and their fragility at the geosites and cultural sites along its route. This paper proposes to enhance heritage routeways, such as the ‘Franks Trail’ and hiking trails in castle landscapes (Pluskowski et al. 2019), by using geoarchaeological and other environmental data to educate visitors as to not only how castle life and the landscape looked at the time, but also how scientific data are collected and analysed to reach conclusions. The ‘castlescape’ is an abstract concept, not a physical dimension, and in essence is the cultural landscape associated with the biography of the castle, the boundaries of which can be fluid. The paper explores how these data can be presented effectively in trails through the ‘castlescape’, drawing on ideas from enotourism (wine tourism), where soil profiles are regularly presented (Schneider 2013), the focus on peat in whisky tourism, and visualisations such as augmented reality (Unger & Kvetina 2017). Keywords: geoarchaeology; landscape archaeology; science communication; heritage management

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Human Environments
Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Scientific Archaeology
Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Archaeology
ID Code:105566


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