- Evaluating background noise: Assessing off-site data from field surveys around the Italic sanctuary of S. Giovanni in Galdo, Molise, Italy
- Journal of Field Archaeology
- Volume | Issue number
- 39 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School of Historical Studies (ASH)
This study demonstrates the potential of intensive sampling and off-site analyses to identify evidence of human activity in the past using the off-site data collected around the Italic sanctuary of S. Giovanni in Galdo, Molise, Italy. Rather than employing general and monocausal explanatory models—e.g., large-scale erosion or ancient manuring—to account for off-site material, this study examines ceramic ware variability from surface collections within the local context. It reveals that the ceramic ware variability in samples from low density areas with low visibility can be an important indicator of past human activity. The results of this examination of background noise—or unexplained variability in off-site material—from the Sacred Landscape Project increase the number and types of sites recognized in the surface collections. Furthermore, the analysis reduces the amount of surface material that can be regarded as off-site material and thus changes its composition. The overall results shed new light on the origins of off-site material and whether it should be interpreted as evidence of human activity in historical landscapes.
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