Presentation of the ACTECH project first results at the EAA in Barcelona

Piero Gilento, PI of the ACTECH project, will present the first results of his on-going research during the annual meeting of European Association of Archaeologists that this year will be held in Barcelona from the 5th to the 8th of September:

Piero Gilento will participate in two sessions. The first one is the #540 about: APPROACHES TO MEDIEVAL BUILDINGS: THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE OF INTERPRETATION AND MANAGEMENT.

The session will run on the 6 of september at the MAC-Auditorium from the 8:30 to the 18:00.

The title of the contribution is: “Building in the Near East between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages: a view from northern Jordan“.

Here the text of the Abstract:


Northern Jordan has a complex system of ancient villages built almost entirely in basalt which, thanks to particular historical-cultural and geological-environmental convergences, have arrived until today in a reasonable state of conservation. It is a built landscape located in a border zone between the steppe and desert areas (the so-called Hawrān) which for centuries has been part of a network of important communication routes between the Mediterranean coast and the Arabian Peninsula and it was the result of the meeting and merging of different cultures: Nabatean, Roman, Byzantine, Sassanid and Islamic. In this context, architecture fully represents these cultural influences and becomes a fundamental source of information, specially for the Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, not only from the point of view of material culture but also for the study of the social and cultural phenomena behind historical crucial changes.
Thanks to an archaeological approach to the analysis of architecture (i.e. Building Archaeology) it was possible to enter into the complex historical sequence of different buildings, sometimes very difficult to decode due to a massive reuse of the same building material and a certain continuity in the use of construction techniques. Moreover, a specific study on construction techniques is also allowing to create a chrono-typological atlas, a useful tool for dating and comparing architecture at a regional scale.
Starting from a specific case study, the village of Umm as-Surab, we will try to better understand the relationship between architecture and landscape and architecture and technological development, investigating the birth and evolution of some construction techniques and building typologies.
Finally, we will focus on the need for intervention strategies for the documentation, conservation and communication of a cultural heritage that can become an important source of development for local communities, ever more careful and aware of their past.

KEYWORDS: Late Antiquity, Early Middle Ages, Near East



This session will run on the 7 of September at the room UB102 from the 14:00 to the 16:00.

The title of the contribution is: “Reading the stones: a sustainable archaeological approach on the study of the built heritage. The experience from northern Jordan“.

Here the text of the Abstract:

The paper intends to present the experience of an archaeological research in Jordan (the Jordan Hawrān Archaeological Survey) in the framework of the ACTECH project, founded by a MSC Individual Fellowship. Thanks to this funding it was possible to continue and expand a first research started in 2009 (and concluded in 2012) in northern Jordan, an area of great archaeological and architectural value, although still not well known.
On the one hand, the new project offers the possibility of continuing the study of ancient architecture in the crucial transitional phase from the Late-Antiquity to the early Middle Ages, on the other, returning to the sites after five years, has allowed to record many differences, above all to their state of conservation. Indeed, clandestine excavations have increased exponentially and many buildings have extensive collapses or are in critical static conditions, almost always due to human factors.
Therefore, the contribution aims to reflect on the practices to be adopted to contribute not only to a better knowledge of the sites, but also to its conservation and enhancement, with a view that cultural heritage can contribute to the development of the small local rural communities. These are increasingly aware of their past and for this reason it is necessary that they be informed and involved in the research activities. In this perspective it is necessary to act in the contingent situation by recording as much information as possible, producing archaeological records that can be both useful today and usable in the future.
In this regard, it is essential to integrate the use of previous available material (aerial images, photos, drawings and reports) with the current one, generated thanks to faster and more effective technologies. With this documentation it is also possible to check and update the conservation status of the site’s material structure and propose the main and most urgent consolidation works.

KEYWORDS: Near East, Late Antiquity, Jordan, Building Archaeology, recording.

Piero Gilento

Marie Skłodowska Curie Postdoctoral research fellow at Paris 1 - Panthéon Sorbonne

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OpenEdition suggests that you cite this post as follows:
Piero Gilento (September 7, 2018). Presentation of the ACTECH project first results at the EAA in Barcelona. ACTECH. Retrieved July 25, 2024 from

Piero Gilento

Marie Skłodowska Curie Postdoctoral research fellow at Paris 1 - Panthéon Sorbonne

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