Microscopic plant remains such as pollen grains and seeds/fruits from archaeological sites, can significantly increase our understanding of past human activities. Indeed they are the documents of the past environment and land-use. They are very often considered in a multidisciplinary approach to the study of an archaeological site. With this aim we investigated the infilling of a small ditch buried at the bottom of a ca. 4 m thick sequence of archaeological deposits in the city centre of Padua (North-eastern Italy). This research was carried out within the project “Padova Underground: a geoarchaeological investigation of the city”, funded by Fondazione Cariparo. Sediments were sampled through a mechanical coring carried out for geotechnical purposes. This is the first integrated analysis of both pollen and seed/fruits carried out in the city centre. Early settlements in Padua date to the late Bronze Age. In the Iron Age Padua developed as an important urban centre, which later became a Roman Municipium. The stratigraphy of the coring indicate that the analysed sediments most probably date to the Iron Age, and a radiocarbon dating will soon be available. The coring site is well inside the ancient inhabited area where many archaeological records are available from the 9th century to the beginning of the Roman age. The pollen record is characterized by the dominance of herb vegetation. The high percentage of cereals’ pollen and the co-occurrence of seeds and of their weeds (pollen and seeds) suggest the presence of cultivation quite near the coring site and therefore inside the inhabited area. The occurrence of pollen and seeds of a variety of ruderal plants is in agreement with the presence of settlements nearby. The hygrophilous plants (herbs, trees and shrubs) are quite rare, therefore the soils should have been well drained and suitable for cultivation and dwelling.

Palaeoenvironment and land-use in Padua (North-eastern Italy) during the Iron Age: intra-situ archaeobotanical analysis

MARITAN, MICHELE;GAUDIOSO, BARBARA;MIOLA, ANTONELLA;MOZZI, PAOLO;PIOVAN, SILVIA;FONTANA, ALESSANDRO;
2011

Abstract

Microscopic plant remains such as pollen grains and seeds/fruits from archaeological sites, can significantly increase our understanding of past human activities. Indeed they are the documents of the past environment and land-use. They are very often considered in a multidisciplinary approach to the study of an archaeological site. With this aim we investigated the infilling of a small ditch buried at the bottom of a ca. 4 m thick sequence of archaeological deposits in the city centre of Padua (North-eastern Italy). This research was carried out within the project “Padova Underground: a geoarchaeological investigation of the city”, funded by Fondazione Cariparo. Sediments were sampled through a mechanical coring carried out for geotechnical purposes. This is the first integrated analysis of both pollen and seed/fruits carried out in the city centre. Early settlements in Padua date to the late Bronze Age. In the Iron Age Padua developed as an important urban centre, which later became a Roman Municipium. The stratigraphy of the coring indicate that the analysed sediments most probably date to the Iron Age, and a radiocarbon dating will soon be available. The coring site is well inside the ancient inhabited area where many archaeological records are available from the 9th century to the beginning of the Roman age. The pollen record is characterized by the dominance of herb vegetation. The high percentage of cereals’ pollen and the co-occurrence of seeds and of their weeds (pollen and seeds) suggest the presence of cultivation quite near the coring site and therefore inside the inhabited area. The occurrence of pollen and seeds of a variety of ruderal plants is in agreement with the presence of settlements nearby. The hygrophilous plants (herbs, trees and shrubs) are quite rare, therefore the soils should have been well drained and suitable for cultivation and dwelling.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/2491269
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