For nearly 20 years now, the uplands and foothills of the Raganello basin in northern Calabria have been the subject of landscape archaeology research by the Groningen Institute of Archaeology. Recently, the authors started documenting the area's rich early modern ethnographic past to improve their interpretive framework. This article will present two key arguments, one theoretical and one methodological, that demonstrate why the study of early modern ethnography is relevant for our understanding of the archaeology of the Raganello basin. On a theoretical level, there is a need to challenge the traditional notion of marginality if we want to understand how archaeological landscapes such as this may have functioned. On the methodological level, the authors propose that more ethnographic and ethnoarchaeological studies must be conducted. As the case studies in this article demonstrate, the potential of ethnography as a tool to more fully understand the past is great.

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