Davide Ghaleb Editore


Editor's note on the Archaeological Landscape
Alessandro Camiz

We decided to base the sixth edition of Girne American University Architecture summer school, entitled to the memory of Enrico Guidoni, on a “not picturesque” understanding of landscape. We do not intend here the archaeological landscape as what man perceives, as stated in the European Landscape Convention, but what man, working, transforms, or to better say “the form that man, for the purpose of agricultural production, consciously and systematically gives to the natural landscape”. The Faculty of Architecture of Rome “Valle Giulia”, of Sapienza, initiated back in 2005 a study on the territory of Castel Madama, following an agreement with Castel Madama local administration to establish a Pole of Research and Higher Education in the Castello Orsini. At that time, I was a Ph.D. student in City History under the direction of prof. Enrico Guidoni (unfortunately died prematurely in 2007) who assigned me the organization of cultural events in the Castle Orsini, together with the Association History of the City. In those years, we laid there with Enrico the foundations for the construction of the excellence centre of the largest university in Europe, “Sapienza”. In 2008, together with Prof. Giuseppe Strappa and the Rome program of University of Miami we organized in Castel Madama an international workshop The research was aimed to the study of the territory form, the urban fabric, the productive areas (especially rural), as a system, as parts of a single organism articulated in different scales. The area was identified as a cultural district, and within the works of the Local Agenda 21 of the Rome Province we proposed the action “international sustainable design workshops in archaeological area” within the project “Architecture in Province” initiated by Prof. Enrico Guidoni. We carried out this action with the collaboration of the Upper level studio, University of Miami School of Architecture, Prof. Carmen L. Guerrero. Thirty students from Sapienza and Miami University worked on the different themes of the landscape, the urban center and in particular on the four aqueducts (Anio Novus, Anio Vetus, Aqua Marcia, Aqua Claudia) that are present in the territory of the municipality of Castel Madama. Among the scientific results of the workshop we should highlight the archaeological constraint that was applied to the entire path of the four aqueducts, 71 m wide (pedes CCXL) following the model of the ancient iugeratio. The proposal for a perimeter of absolute ban on buildings near the tracks of the aqueducts in the Municipality of Castel Madama, was presented to the Local Administration and inserted by the architect Elisabetta Cicerchia in the general variant of the PRG. This bond is a result of extraordinary importance and is a prerequisite for the realization of a great archaeological park of the aqueducts that, by connecting the high Aniene Valley with Rome, would assume a dimension comparable to that of the Great Wall in China. We based the identification on the existing archaeological map . This track, as we could see during the researches, presents considerable uncertainties, especially in the underground sections of the ducts. Pending specific studies and in-depth surveys, we decided to propose a buffer zone with the measure of the long side of one iuger (ca. 71 m). Following the Roman agrarian partition, the restraint will constitute a linear park and an ecological corridor focused on the ancient route of the aqueducts and large enough to contain any deviations of the actual tracks from the indications in literature. The availability of some land owned by the Agricultural University of Castel Madama, the strong interest of archaeologists for this context, suggest the development on the subject of water, with the new edition of the international workshop and finally by achieving a large archaeological park of the aqueducts in the municipality of Castel Madama. The route of the aqueducts, perhaps the most challenging of the ancient infrastructure network, offered the opportunity to verify the level of permanence of the ownership structures during the Middle Ages. The suburban location of the aqueducts, marked by progressive iugeral stones at regular intervals, became with this restraint a limit on the right to build and cultivate. Just like the land crossed by roads, but with a much more demanding network maintenance, these public lands after the fall of the Roman Empire, suffered transformations. We analyzed them by superimposing epigraphic and monumental evidence, topographic sources, quantitative notarial sources and modern descriptive registers, searching for matches to outline the evolution of agricultural land partition in relation to the iugeral network of the Roman era. It is an exemplification of an established research method here experimented on the rural landscape and to the specific case study of the Aniene Valley, characterized by a high settlement permanence and with settlement cycles verifiable with some precision. We published some of the scientific results of the workshop and disseminated them within international conferences. The students discussed the proposed projects with the citizens in the council chamber of the Municipality of Castel Madama, and were the subject of two different exhibitions. “Matter, Material, Building”, held at Faculty of Architecture “Valle Giulia” in January 2009, Rome, and “Naturalistic and historical-artistic itineraries in the territory of Castel Madama”, exhibited from April 24 to May 7 2009, at Castello Orsini in Castel Madama together with the exhibition “Giants of water Roman Aqueducts of Lazio in the photographs of Thomas Ashby 1892-1925” . We presented this project at the Forum of the Great historical cities of the Mediterranean and their landscape, organized by Hispania Nostra under the auspices of the Agency for international cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Spanish Government in Toledo on 27 and 28 June 2008. In that context, it was possible to discuss and compare the different heritage policies adopted in Rome (metropolitan area), Toledo, Jerusalem, Istanbul, Athens and Tunis, in relation to the fundamental guidelines of the European Landscape Convention. The International Summer School “Enrico Guidoni: City and Territory: Archaeology and Architecture”, is conceived as a continuation of the researches done in the territory of Castel Madama in the past years. We can indeed consider these territories as a reference for the general understanding of the relationships between architecture and archaeology.