About the Project

The low hills and small valleys between the Sulcis Mountains and the Gulf of Sant’Antioco (a patchwork landscape of schist, granites, and karst, possessing fertile valleys as well as varied mineral resources) have presented a rich and diverse landscape for human exploitation. Repeatedly incorporated into and then disarticulated from bigger political and economic structures (from Late Bronze Age and Iron Age pan-Mediterranean systems, via Carthage and Rome, to the Byzantine reconquest and union with Spain, AD 1323-1708), this region of Southwest Sardinia provides an ideal context in which to study both local socio-economic development and the influence of larger political entities on local economic practices and social organization.

We introduce the Landscape Archaeology of Southwest Sardinia Project (LASS), a multi-disciplinary landscape project (revolving methodologically around surface survey, geospatial analysis, and diachronic site-level documentation) whose primary aim is to assess how this episodic integration and disintegration drove sociocultural and socioeconomic change in Southwest Sardinia over the long-term. In particular, we seek to understand how the Nuragic emergence and Late Punic decline of the important central site of Pani Loriga affected rural organization and systems of extraction sensu lato. Our perspective – whether dealing with Neolithic mortuary sites or 19th century mining railroads – is ecodynamic and comparative, striving to situate human-environment interactions in this small corner of the Mediterranean within wider contexts of understanding and interpretation.

Fieldwork is conducted under a permit granted by the Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo to Dr. Massimo Botto (Primo Ricercatore at the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche – Istituto di Studi sul Mediterraneo, Director of the Archaeological Mission of Pani Loriga, and LASS Senior Research Advisor).  The Landscape Archaeology of Southwest Sardinia Project works in association with the Archaeological Mission of Pani Loriga.


LASS Study Region


LASS 2017 & 2018: Areas of Systematic Reconnaissance


LASS 2018: Artifact Density Measures


LASS 2016: Site Verification and Reconnaissance






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