Fame and Marginality: The Archaeology of Montagne Sainte Victoire (Provence, France)


This article presents the results of a landscape archaeology project from Provence in the south of France. Data from field survey and excavation are discussed. Settlement patterns and human/landscape dynamics from the protohistoric periods through to the end of the Roman period are assessed. Trends in settlement expansion and contraction are analyzed along with the relationships that might have existed between this area and urban centers at Aix-en-Provence and Massilia (Marseille). Geoarchaeological work informs our appreciation of this enigmatic and dynamic landscape. This supposedly marginal micro-region 15 km to the east of Aix is characterized by a series of erosion surfaces and stable, economically productive plains. This contribution considers the relationship between settlements and the geomorphic system, and makes a first attempt at an assessment of the evolution of organization and management of this landscape. The conclusion to this article reasserts the potential for dynamic and rich discourses that landscape archaeology can engender in the study of period "transitions" and human/environment relationships.

DOI: 10.3764/aja.107.1.45