When the first edition came out, this book was the first to have as its subject an area hitherto unexplored and almost completely neglected by historiography: the upper Val di Cecina, a “terra incognita”. It was a pioneering work that, unexpectedly, revealed an area rich in ancient and medieval remains. The curator therefore had to deal with settlement models hitherto poorly defined and with a past buried by the profound changes that had taken place there. In addition, the rapid possibilities of accessing archival and bibliographic sources via the Internet - to which we are accustomed and addicted today - were at the time far beyond to come, like many of the modern technologies that allow a better study of the global archeology of a territory. .
After thirty years, many research ideas, which had found expression for the first time in this volume, have been adopted and pursued by other scholars, who have developed some of the themes proposed in the first edition. A few examples among the many: the definition of synecism that underlies the genesis of the castles of Radicondoli and Belforte in the twelfth century and the urban development of the newly founded centers; the signs of the stone stones engraved on the walls of the Pieve Vecchia, the first reported and studied in central-southern Tuscany.