BUILDING NEW EXPLANATIONS ABOUT ROMAN SETTLEMENT PATTERNS:

By employing a tailored methodology of predictive modelling, this paper uncovers factors influencing Roman farmers’ decisions on where to settle in the Somme (modern department in northern France). Few studies have devoted efforts towards this goal, as the Somme displays a relatively smooth topography, giving the impression that its site location patterns were homogeneous. The results of this study indicate that the physical landscape did influence site location: rural settlements were more often located in flat areas or gentle valley slopes near rivers. Socio-economic factors, such as the accessibility of local markets, however, seem to hold even more influence over site location than the physical landscape, since the preference for well-connected areas appears for all types of farms. If all areas could be settled by Roman farmers, well-connected areas were therefore viewed as more suitable than others.

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