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Trees, Nuts, And Woods At The End Of The First Millennium: A Case From The Amalfi Coast

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Chapter Summary

Among the documents from the tenth and early eleventh centuries, several make reference to a characteristic land use of southern Campania in those times, the chestnut grove. This chapter analyzes only one charter in any detail, but attempts to build on it a wider portrait of medieval chestnut cultivation around Amalfi. Castanea sativa, the European chestnut, remains a significant presence in Campania's highlands today, yet the early charters suggests that along the Amalfi peninsula, in the Lattari mountains looming above the maritime zone and even in some low valleys there, just as further south and east around Salerno and the Picentini mountains, and in the vicinity of Avellino further inland, this tree was once more important than it became in the twentieth century.

Keywords: Amalfi peninsula; Castanea sativa; chestnut grove



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