De Montis, Andrea and Caschili, Simone (2012) Nuraghes and landscape planning: coupling viewshed with complex network analysis. Landscape and Urban Planning, Vol. 105 (3), p. 315-324. eISSN 1872-6062. Article.
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Recent approaches in landscape planning have prompted interest in the relationships among cultural goods, human settlements, and the environment. In Europe and Italy, scholars and practitioners have used landscape planning tools for the analysis and management of historical landscapes that include elements such as the sense of belonging of local societies to cultural heritage sites. In this paper the authors present a study of prehistoric settlements focusing on the Nuragic system developed on the Pranemuru plain in Sardinia during the Bronze Age. We investigate the hypothesis that the spatial patterns of the Nuraghes obey rules of inter-visibility control over the surrounding territory. We check the inter-visibility thesis by means of a quantitative approach, which integrates GIS based viewshed and complex network analysis. Nuragic inter-visibility is studied through network modelling and assessed with respect to a topological analysis. Results show a hierarchical organisation and not a random structure in the inter-visibility network: hence, consistent rules influenced the construction of Nuragic settlements on the Pranemuru plain. We conclude speculating that inter-visibility cannot be considered the sole factor that influenced the placement of Nuragic towers. The inter-visibility among these towers is plausibly connected with the presence of other human and natural resources.
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