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Rivers have often been the gateway to natural wilderness and the first element of a natural landscape that humans made their own. Some rivers have become the symbol of whole civilisations, such as the Nile or the Tiber to Egyptians and Romans respectively. More recently, pioneers exploring the continent of America have explored the new land from within rivers, whose names have become by extension the name of the land: 15 of the 50 states composing the United States of America are borrowed from rivers. No other natural feature has become embedded into human narratives as the river. Rivers are frequently featured prominently in natural landscapes by writers and artists, but they also turn up in unexpected places, such as the mythical Greek underworld or Dante's Inferno. Rivers made of stars (the Milky Way) have been recognised in the sky by the Inca, Chinese, Koreans, Japanese (the "Peaceful River of Heaven"), Hindu, Maori, Aboriginal Australians as well as other cultures. The flow of a river has prompted many reflexions of its similarity to time as well as human life and consciousness, becoming a recurring theme in culture and philosophical thought. In recent archaeological literature, rivers are often ignored from narratives, or seen as part of the natural landscape. Yet, rivers and streams have shaped most cities in the world and they should be inserted more frequently, if not systematically, in archaeological interpretations and narratives. The sea is very much in the minds of scholars, especially in Europe, but rivers are denied the same interest. It is hoped that Rivers in Prehistory will generate some fresh interest.
1. Dugouts from North Patagonia (Center-South of Chile): Sailing on Trees - (Nicolas Lira S.)
2. Exploitation of the Aquatic Resources of Lake Lubans and Its Hydrological Regime during the Stone Age - (Ilze B. Loze)
3. A River Runs Through It: The Semiotics of Gobekli Tepe's Map (An Exercise of Archaeological Imagination) - (Dragos Gheorghiu)
4. Rivers, human occupation and exchanges around the Late Bronze age settlement of Frattesina (NE Italy) - (P. Bellintani & M. Saracino)
5. People of the waters in northern Italy - (Andrea Vianello)
6. The perennial rivers and the changing settlement patterns on the two sides of the Tiber in central Italy - the case studies of Nepi and Gabii - (Ulla Rajala)
7. Bronze Age Barrow Complexes on the Lincolnshire Fen Margin - (Peter Chowne)
8. Roads, routes and ceremonies: the Fenland Superhighway - (Tim Malim)
9. Continuity of seasonal access and occupation on the turloughs of Ireland - (Amy Bunce)
10. An approach to the fluvial networks of the Papaloapan basin: the use of the lower Papaloapan, Mexico, from the pre-Hispanic period to early XX century - (Edith Ortiz Diaz)
Andrea Vianello (MA, PhD Sheffield) has taught archaeology since 1998. He has worked in excavations in Crete (Phaistos, Knossos), Britain and Italy. His research focus has concentrated on the Late Bronze Age in the Mediterranean, especially on exchanges and trade of material culture, cultural transmission and socio-economic issues. In particular, he has produced some reference work on the exchanges of Mycenaean-style ceramics and artefacts in Italy and Iberia. His monograph on Late Bronze Age Mycenaean and Italic Products has been honoured to be presented by the author to a crowd of archaeologists at the XV World Congress UISPP in Lisbon, September 2006. Other interests include the use of digital technologies applied to archaeology, with special concern for Web technologies to disseminate results. He is a regular contributor to the CSA Newsletter and previously worked for 5 years at the University of Oxford on a national project (Humbul, then Intute) to use Web publications in academic teaching. Recently he worked more specifically on Web publishing for archaeologists. He is also interested in semiotic methodologies within archaeology and especially those applied to rituals, gestures, memory and within the field of cognitive archaeology. He is a regular member of the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA) and has presented his work at the EAA's annual meetings since 2001. He has attended and presented his work at numerous international conferences, and has been invited to lecture at the University of Toronto, the 10th World Congress of Semiotics at La Coruna, the University of Durham as well as other venues. He is currently involved in a project in Italy involving scientific analyses with pXRF with prof. Tykot and Dr Freund. He is also working towards the publication of two grant-funded researches in Crete. Dr Andrea Vianello has published extensively in peer-reviewed academic journals, edited volumes and monographs, though nothing prepared him for the difficulties of writing a dictionary! "Rivers in Prehistory", a new volume, is now out and has been launched at the 21st European Association of Archaeologists meeting in Glasgow, 2015.