Familiarity, Repetition, and Quotidian Movement in Roman Tuscany


  • Cam Grey University of Pennsylvania
  • James R. Mathieu University of Pennsylvania
  • Antonia Arnoldus-Huyzendveld DIGITER, Inc
  • Andrea Patacchini Università degli Studi di Siena
  • Mariaelena Ghisleni Università di Siena




connectivity, corridors of movement, focal points, GIS, ground-truthing, meshwork, mobility


This study investigates the connectivity between a number of places in an ancient Tuscan landscape by developing and testing hypotheses about mobility around and across the region. Interpretatively, it makes use of the concepts of familiarity and repetition in evaluating the quotidian experience of a landscape. Methodologically, it employs a multi-stranded approach, combining traditional topographical and archaeological assessments with GIS and ground-truthing exercises in a recursive dialog. It posits a ‘meshwork of connectivity’, which served to facilitate short- and long-distance travel within and across the region. It explores interactions between natural barriers and routeways, on the one hand, and human interventions and decision-making, on the other, and proposes the existence of both ‘corridors of movement’ and ‘focal points’ in the landscape. Finally, it suggests that seasonal variation in both environmental factors and economic imperatives likely impacted both the ease and the extent of regional travel.

Author Biographies

Cam Grey, University of Pennsylvania

Cam Grey, Associate Professor, Department of Classical Studies, University of Pennsylvania and Co-Director of the Roman Peasant Project, is a social historian interested in comparative methodologies for studying small communities in antiquity, particularly in anthropological, archaeological, and environmental disciplines.

James R. Mathieu, University of Pennsylvania

James R. Mathieu, Chief of Staff to the Williams Director of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, is interested in the study of social complexity, spatial analysis, fortifications, and experimental archaeology.

Antonia Arnoldus-Huyzendveld, DIGITER, Inc

Antonia Arnoldus-Huyzendveld, Contract Professor at the Università di Siena and the Università ‘La Sapienza’ (Rome), and consulting geoarchaeologist on numerous projects in Latium and Tuscany, uses techniques from the earth sciences, including land-unit mapping and applied GIS methodologies, to study interactions between humans and their landscapes.

Andrea Patacchini, Università degli Studi di Siena

Andrea Patacchini, of the Università degli Studi di Siena, Dipartimento Scienze Storiche e dei Beni Culturali, is interested in GIS methodologies in the study of Roman and medieval landscapes and settlement patterns.

Mariaelena Ghisleni, Università di Siena

Mariaelena Ghisleni, of the Laboratorio di Archeologia dei Paesaggi e Telerilevamento at the Università di Siena, and Co-Director of the Roman Peasant Project, is interested in landscape archaeology, geophysical survey, and Roman to Medieval settlement patterns.


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How to Cite

Grey, C., Mathieu, J. R., Arnoldus-Huyzendveld, A., Patacchini, A., & Ghisleni, M. (2016). Familiarity, Repetition, and Quotidian Movement in Roman Tuscany. Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, 28(2), 195–219. https://doi.org/10.1558/jmea.v28i2.29531