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Undergrounds in the Mediterranean

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There are numerous man-made structures and objects to be found in the underground of the Mediterranean. Representing ways to manage natural resources, to confront the risk of conflict or simply goods and objects stored underground and consequently having survived the test of time, they allow us to extend our studies of the history of the places and the people to whom they belonged. The underground is a parallel world, the analysis of which helps throw light on many of the more obscure areas of Mediterranean history. Some common characteristics mark the ways Mediterranean populations have used underground resources, but there are also many divergences. The reasons for Mediterranean underground development aside, it is a fact that the idea of a negative building culture became very popular in order to resolve problems caused by common social and environmental conditions, such as harsh climactic conditions, communication, religious practice, scarcity of resources and more. In these cases, the dominant local building know-how was reconsidered and the underground architectures of diverse geographical locations within the basin have much more in common than their corresponding above-ground architectural styles.

The article studies the contribution of underground structures to the Mediterranean urban experience following a functional approach.
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Keywords: Mediterranean; underground; urban functions

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 October 2014

More about this publication?
  • The half-yearly journal Global Environment: A Journal of History and Natural and Social Sciences acts as a forum and echo chamber for ongoing studies on the environment and world history, with special focus on modern and contemporary topics. Our intent is to gather and stimulate scholarship that, despite a diversity of approaches and themes, shares an environmental perspective on world history in its various facets, including economic development, social relations, production government, and international relations.
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