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The origins of intensive pastoralism and the creation of cultural landscapes in North-Eastern Spain (HUMANSCAPES)
Start date: May 1, 2014, End date: Jul 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Cultural landscapes are defined as areas which have been largely shaped by past human activities. The correct management of cultural landscapes requires the understanding of past human-landscape interactions. Only by recreating cultural landscape histories it is possible to develop sensitive case-directed management policies which would incorporate the particular environmental and cultural character of each cultural landscape.This project aims to analyse the origins of transhumant pastoralism in NE Spain in order to provide insights into the construction of anthropogenic landscapes. Its significance lies on the fact that the results will be incorporated into environmental policies for the management of mountainous landscapes that will be based on a thorough understanding of the local area. Previous research in the Pyrenees indicated the absence of transhumance prior to the medieval period. For this project a lower altitude study area was chosen, the Garraf massif, according to a preliminary survey that identified various Iron Age enclosures typical of transhumant practices. Multidisciplinary techniques are employed to establish the precise dating of pastoral activities in the area and investigate the function of the enclosures. The results will be used to assess the scale and the relationship of transhumance to the development of trade and urbanisation as well as its impact on the landscape.

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