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Understanding human movement through spatial technologies. The role of natural areas of transit in the Late Prehistory of South-western Iberia.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date1/01/2012
JournalTrabajos de Prehistoria
Journal number1
Volume69
Number of pages20
Pages103-122
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Archaeological, historical, and ethnographic research has demonstrated how mountainous environments influence the socio-cultural dynamics of the communities that live in them and in their neighbouring areas. The development of these communities tends to occur at the margins, often far away from centres of political power. This marginality is also extended to movement in these regions, where mountain ranges regularly constitute mighty obstacles on account of their natural configuration which plays a central role in strategy, commerce and travelling. In the case of western Sierra Morena in Spain, its constitution shaped both the ways of transit through the mountains during Later Prehistory and the historical routes of communication that traverse Andalucía. Using a GIS methodology developed specifically to identify particular characteristics of the landscape relevant to human movement, such as passageways, crossing points, and natural areas of transit, we examine the role that natural accessibility had for the late prehistoric societies of this region. We conclude that the location of their habitats and symbolic places are strongly related to corridors, possibly due to an increasing importance of herding activities.