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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 have been studied as part of archaeobotany in continental Italy, the Italian peninsula, and islands over the last quarter in a century.

The state of archaeobotanical research on past diet, plant uses and cultural landscapes in Italy is highly developed, and it is ready to be broadly considered as a key factor in the future of research into the understanding of the bio-cultural diversity and conservation of the central Mediterranean landscape. On-site studies from a network of regionally distributed archaeological sites are fundamental to understanding the long-term impact of human activities, allowing us to recognise the onset and typologies of cultural landscapes in different regions. Plant remains may be therefore interpreted as independent indicators of agro-forestry- pastoral practices, and compared with the strictly local, unquestionable, cultural evidence found in archaeological sites.

The framework of these integrated researches is very promising with a view to defining fairly precisely the onset and development of human-influenced landscapes from which the cultural landscapes and most of our current tangible and intangible “green heritage” has derived.

 

Read the paper