This paper will discuss the dynamics of anthropization and human settlements in the Salento between the 11th and 15th centuries when the area comprising today’s provinces of Lecce, Brindisi and Taranto underwent significant transformations and reorganisation, which often, and at times also deeply, redesigned the picture of its rural population. The most complex implications occurred mainly during the second half of the 13th century, due to the changes brought about by the coexistence and interdependence of two processes, abandonment and new-founding, which have clearly influenced the structure of urban and rural geography of the area. The process of redefining human settlements affected more the north-western Salento, the area between Taranto, Nardò, Brindisi and Lecce, marked by the conversion to cereal-growing on lands previously used for the cultivation of vines and olives.
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