This volume is part of the ERC Petrifying Wealth project. The Southern European Shift to Masonry as Collective Investment in Identity, c.1050-1300, which investigates the reasons and the different meanings that during the central centuries of the Middle Ages determined the progressive return to a building in durable quality materials in Mediterranean Europe. The volume, a further element of comparison and reflection on the subject of petrification and beyond, presents the results of archaeological investigations conducted for over a decade on a portion of the Val di Chiana in Arezzo, roughly corresponding to the municipalities of Castiglion Fiorentino, Lucignano and Foiano della Chiana.
Starting from the fundamental excavation activities carried out in the castle of Montecchio Vesponi, then through the historical reconstruction of the surrounding landscapes and the stratigraphic analysis of the surviving medieval architectures, an attempt was made to understand what were the dynamics of the formation of the rural population and development of power structures in the period between the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries. On the basis of the collected data, we wondered what was the development of the settlement network of the territory considered, how the inhabited centers were formed and transformed, what was their relationship with the main communication routes and with the closest territories , how the relationship between man and the environment has changed over the centuries. Finally, an attempt has been made to contextualize the results obtained within the main historiographical themes such as the development of castles, the petrification of inhabited centres, the forms of representation of power, economic growth and the effects of the fourteenth century conjuncture.