Open Archaeology

Topical Issue on Uncovering Historical Routes for Sustainable Mobility: Methods, Tools and Case Studies



Cinzia Tavernari, Abdullah Gül University, Turkey

Carlo Citter, University of Siena, Italy




Mobility is one of the key aspects of 21st century’s globalization. It may sound inappropriate to use the latter word when referring to past civilizations, however, it is indisputable that in past societies as well several groups of people were constantly on the move (merchants, pilgrims, craftsmen, soldiers). Because of their relevance to the understanding and explanation of many aspects of human behavior in the past, mobility studies are central to archaeological research. In addition, they gain increasing importance in view of the contemporary challenges posed by our society’s ever-increasing mobility. Mobility must be supported by roads, routes, paths, tracks. In this sense we thus believe that the study of the routes is both the study of the past and of the living present. This consideration represents the core concept of this topical issue, whose goal is mainly to explore mobility through the routes that served as its backbone. In this topical issue we especially wish to invite contributions that consider three main topics. The first topic focuses on mobility as a network of connected routes, also in relation to the spreading of goods, ideas, military conquest and domination. The second topic considers the materiality of routes, how they were built and what does remain in the archaeological record. The third topic concentrates on the recovering of ancient routes in relation to contemporary mobility and how it can help the sustainable development of a given territory for both tourism and inclusive societies. The focus of the topical issue is mainly methodological and theoretical and it is thus open to any chronological period.


The Various Ways of Being Mobile: Habitual Knowledge, Life-Strategies and the Ancient Route Networks on the Eastern Marmarica-Plateau (Northern Libyan Desert)

Anna-Katharina Rieger


Hide and Seek. Roads, Lookouts and Directional Visibility Cones in Central Anatolia

Jacopo Turchetto, Giuseppe Salemi


All the Roads to Patavium: Morphology, Genesis and Development of the Roman Road Network Around Padua

Michele Matteazzi


Perspectives for Network Analysis: Roman Roads, Barbarian Paths and Settlement Patterns in the Borderlands at the Limes Germanicus in the Main River Region

Armin Volkmann


The Road Network in the Longue Durée: A Reading Key of the History of Territories

Magali Watteaux


A Stratified Route Network in a Stratified Landscape. The Region of Enna (Central Sicily) from the Bronze Age to the 19 th c. AD.

Carlo Citter, Giuseppe Maria Amato, Valentina Di Natale, Andrea Patacchini


Sicilian Castles and Coastal Towers

Scott Kirk


From Excavation to Restitution of the Networks of Roman and Pre-roman Roads: The Footprints of the 2222 m and 2535 m Leagues in the Carnute, Senon and Parisii Territories (Gallia Lugdunensis/France)

Jean Bruant