Centuriation, Roman expansion and landscape evolution: towards a global perspective

Activity: Talk and presentationAcademic presentationAcademic


Centuriation, the large-scale geometric re-organization of rural landscapes, is one of the most impressive yet least understood accomplishments of the Romans. The study of these systems has a long and diverse history, and by now at least some three hundred of such these systems are known throughout the Roman world. At the same time, our understanding of this phenomenon beyond the individual case study or region is very limited – despite several attempts at synthetic work (e.g., Clavel-Lévêque & Vignot 1988; Clavel-Lévêque & Orejas 1990; Agri Centuriati 2009). Thus, basic questions about their distribution, functions, chronology and relations to Roman expansion remain unanswered. Departing from an inventory of known centuriations, this paper explores these limitations and proposes a program of comparative research as a means to advance this field of research. with the ultimate aim to further explore the impact of centuriation, both in the context of Roman expansion and the longer-term evolution of landscapes. The potential of such comparative analysis is illustrated on the basis of several examples.
Event title29th European Association of Archaeologists Annual Meeting: Weaving Narratives
Event typeConference
Conference number29
LocationBelfastShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • landscape archaeology
  • Roman archaeology
  • land division