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Research

Our activities deal with vegetation history, wood use and land use changes during the Holocene in the Mediterranean area and in other world regions. More recently, they extend to detect and increase the value of the cultural landscape in rural and urban areas and the diagnosis and conservation of Wooden Cultural Heritage.

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Research news

Late Holocene landscape changes in central Italy

Late Holocene landscape changes in central Italy

From 200 BC to AD 1300 the landscape on the Etruscan coast in central Italy changed completely independent of climate In a research paper published in The Holocene, our team applied long term analysis of charcoal-deposits in order to explore how the landscape at the Etruscan coast in Central Italy changed from 200 BC to AD 1300. Anthracological studies has been carried out in three sites located...

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The first archaeobotanical review of archaeological sites in Italy

The first archaeobotanical review of archaeological sites in Italy

More than 15 archaeobotanical teams, working on 630 archaeological sites in the last 25 years, reconstructed the history of the cultural landscapes in Italy from the pre-Roman to the Middle Ages In a study published in Review of Palinology and Palaeobotany, our team, in collaboration with other archaeobotanists, reported for the first time the census of the Holocene archaeological sites that...

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The Late Holocene history of silver fir

The Late Holocene history of silver fir

Is silver fir a relic species with no potential to expand its spatial range? Is silver fir a mountain species? In a study published in the Journal of Vegetation Science, our team investigated by means of archaeological charcoal data the recent Holocene distribution of silver fir (Abies alba) in central-southern Italy. Result shows that silver fir grew at lower altitudes than currently and was...

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A new archaeobotanical study of Italian Roman ports

A new archaeobotanical study of Italian Roman ports

In Roman times the Tyrrhenian coast was characterized by a deciduous forest and wood for shipbuilding was of local provenance In a study published in Review of Palinology and Palaeobotany, our team, in collaboration with other archaeobotanists, analyze pollen, plant macrofossils and wood constituting shipwrecks, from the ancient Roman ports of Pisae, Portus, and Neapolis. The archaeobotanical...

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Our new research on Medieval farming in central Italy

Our new research on Medieval farming in central Italy

The einkorn was a “cultural” element of the Lombard farming, while rye characterized the later Carolingian feudal period In a new paper published in Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, our team study plant remains (seeds and fruits) from the Medieval castle of Miranduolo, near Siena. The long sequence of occupation, between the 8th and the 11th centuries AD, allow to detect the crops,...

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Forest history and human impact on the Tyrrhenian coast of Calabria

Forest history and human impact on the Tyrrhenian coast of Calabria

Our team is reconstructing the landscape history of a Bronze Age settlement Although the Bronze Age development in Southern Italy has attracted scholar’s interest in the past, in this region, there is a lack of systematic archaeological excavations of Bronze Age settlements. For the coasts south of the Gulf of Naples, no exhaustive data on Bronze Age settlement sites are available. An...

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Our new research paper about the Sila massif, Calabria

Our new research paper about the Sila massif, Calabria

In a study published in Quaternary International, Emilia Allevato, Gaetano Di Pasquale and collegues report the results of a multidisciplinary and multi-analytical study of Holocene archaeological soils around Cecita Lake, focusing on assessment of climatic and environmental changes that took place since late Neolithic to Roman times, trying to discriminate natural from anthropogenic...

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Our new research on the history of the Mediterranean vegetation during the last 2000 years

Our new research on the history of the Mediterranean vegetation during the last 2000 years

An “anthracological” response to the debate on the role of climate and humans in spreading evergreen vegetation In a study published in Annali di Botanica, our team analyzed wood charcoals from two archaeological sites in a sub-coastal area of northern Maremma, dated between the Roman period and the Late Middle Age, in order to detect land use and the forest cover changes. The aim of...

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Our new research paper about the North Ecuador

Our new research paper about the North Ecuador

In a study published in Quaternary International, Emilia Allevato, Gaetano Di Pasquale and collegues report  the soil charcoal analysis and extensive AMS dating on six soil profiles, between 3400 and 3900 m a.s.l. in the Guandera Biological Reserve (Western Cordillera Real, North Ecuador). AMS results showed an ordered stratification of charcoals allowing a fire history reconstruction over...

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Timber use and garden plants in the Roman villa “of Poppea” at Oplontis

Timber use and garden plants in the Roman villa “of Poppea” at Oplontis

The evidences show an exclusive use of coniferous timber in building and carpentry In a study published in Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, Daniela Moser, Emilia Allevato and Gaetano Di Pasquale analyse wood and charcoal remains from the timber structures and from the garden soils of the Villa of Poppea at Oplontis, providing new evidence of the history of some significant trees of the...

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