Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park Italy

Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park with the Archeological sites of Paestum and Velia, and the Certosa di Padula; The Cilento is an outstanding cultural landscape. The dramatic groups of sanctuaries and settlements along its three east–west mountain ridges vividly portray the area's historical evolution: it was a major route not only for trade, but also for cultural and political interaction during the prehistoric and medieval periods. The Cilento was also the boundary between the Greek colonies of Magna Graecia and the indigenous Etruscan and Lucanian peoples. The remains of two major cities from classical times, Paestum and Velia, are found there.

Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park
Continent: Europe
Country: Italy
Category: Cultural
Criterion: (III)(IV)
Date of Inscription: 1998

Cultural landscape

During the prehistoric period, and again in the middle Ages, the Cilento region served as a key route for cultural, political, and commercial communications in an exceptional manner, utilizing the crests of the mountain chains running east-west and thereby creating a cultural landscape of outstanding significance and quality. In two key episodes in the development of human societies in the Mediterranean region, the Cilento area provided the only viable means of communication between the Adriatic and the Tyrrhenian seas, in the central Mediterranean region, and this is vividly illustrated by the relict cultural landscape of today.

Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park Italy

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Identified Homo sapiens

Cilento National Park is essentially a mountainous region cut by several river valleys sloping down to the Tyrrhenian Sea. The earliest human occupation identified in this region dates back over 250,000 years, when Homo erectus was living in caves along the coast. Homo sapiens replaced his Neanderthal cousin during the Upper Palaeolithic period and established seasonal camps during this and the subsequent Mesolithic period. Neolithic settlements have been discovered in a number of places across the area of the park. During the Bronze and Iron Ages small groups of warriors and traders moved into to the region.

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