The study of seeds/fruits in archaeological excavations in urban areas helps to outline the history of the city, for the reconstruction of the process of urbanization; the organic materials preserved in waterlogged conditions below the historical towns are a fundamental resource. The Archaeobotanyin such cases provides important results when the material examined comes from several sites that show the territory over a quite long period. This contribution refers to the palaeoenvironmental reconstruction of Mutina, a roman colony founded in 183 BCE, important both for strategic and economic reasons, described by Cicero as a “firmissimam et splendidissimam populi romani coloniam”. Numerous archaeological sites of the Roman Period (2nd BCE – 6th centuries CE) which have come to light in Modena have been investigated. The information provided by botanical remains has allowed the interpretation of palaeoethnobotany, history and knowledge of flora and vegetal landscape of the Modena area during the Roman Age. The archaeobotanical research brings the most obvious evidence of wealth and welfare of the city, including the availability of luxury products and the cultivation of exotic and ornamental plants. The sites show a large range of crops, including several related to textiles, dyeing and sheep breeding for wool, for which the city of Modena was famous. From the environmental/floristic point of view, all sites give clear evidence of wetlands (which have characterized the urban area until the early 20th century), with the presence of plants then disappeared from Modena and, in some cases, by whole Emilia Romagna region, underlining the most biodiversity existing in the area compared to the current. Research has revealed a floristic list numerically superior than the one available (almost 300 taxa) for the over thirty Roman sites previously studied from a carpological standpoint in Emilia Romagna. Further studies were performed for the Middle Ages, providing informations about the urban environment during some of the maximum expansion phases of the city (9th – 13th centuries CE). The collected data confirmed the persistence of this high plant biodiversity, combined with a great presence of wetlands vegetation. This can be related to the connotation of medieval Modena as a water city, characterized by an extended network of canals, considerable as the main vector of commerce. Another information that emerged regards the richness and the persistence of traditional economic cultivations, both for the voluptuary genders and for the subsistence ones, suggesting a strong component of cultural continuity.

The “green” history of the city of Modena (Emilia Romagna, Northern Italy): archaeobotanical information from Roman to Medieval Ages / Rinaldi, Rossella; Mazzanti, Marta; Benatti, Alessandra; Osti, G.; Labate, D.; Bosi, Giovanna. - STAMPA. - (2014), pp. 106-107. ((Intervento presentato al convegno 3rd International Landscape Archaeology Conference (LAC) tenutosi a Roma nel 17-20 September 2014.

The “green” history of the city of Modena (Emilia Romagna, Northern Italy): archaeobotanical information from Roman to Medieval Ages

RINALDI, ROSSELLA;MAZZANTI, Marta;BENATTI, ALESSANDRA;BOSI, Giovanna
2014

Abstract

The study of seeds/fruits in archaeological excavations in urban areas helps to outline the history of the city, for the reconstruction of the process of urbanization; the organic materials preserved in waterlogged conditions below the historical towns are a fundamental resource. The Archaeobotanyin such cases provides important results when the material examined comes from several sites that show the territory over a quite long period. This contribution refers to the palaeoenvironmental reconstruction of Mutina, a roman colony founded in 183 BCE, important both for strategic and economic reasons, described by Cicero as a “firmissimam et splendidissimam populi romani coloniam”. Numerous archaeological sites of the Roman Period (2nd BCE – 6th centuries CE) which have come to light in Modena have been investigated. The information provided by botanical remains has allowed the interpretation of palaeoethnobotany, history and knowledge of flora and vegetal landscape of the Modena area during the Roman Age. The archaeobotanical research brings the most obvious evidence of wealth and welfare of the city, including the availability of luxury products and the cultivation of exotic and ornamental plants. The sites show a large range of crops, including several related to textiles, dyeing and sheep breeding for wool, for which the city of Modena was famous. From the environmental/floristic point of view, all sites give clear evidence of wetlands (which have characterized the urban area until the early 20th century), with the presence of plants then disappeared from Modena and, in some cases, by whole Emilia Romagna region, underlining the most biodiversity existing in the area compared to the current. Research has revealed a floristic list numerically superior than the one available (almost 300 taxa) for the over thirty Roman sites previously studied from a carpological standpoint in Emilia Romagna. Further studies were performed for the Middle Ages, providing informations about the urban environment during some of the maximum expansion phases of the city (9th – 13th centuries CE). The collected data confirmed the persistence of this high plant biodiversity, combined with a great presence of wetlands vegetation. This can be related to the connotation of medieval Modena as a water city, characterized by an extended network of canals, considerable as the main vector of commerce. Another information that emerged regards the richness and the persistence of traditional economic cultivations, both for the voluptuary genders and for the subsistence ones, suggesting a strong component of cultural continuity.
3rd International Landscape Archaeology Conference (LAC)
Roma
17-20 September 2014
Rinaldi, Rossella; Mazzanti, Marta; Benatti, Alessandra; Osti, G.; Labate, D.; Bosi, Giovanna
The “green” history of the city of Modena (Emilia Romagna, Northern Italy): archaeobotanical information from Roman to Medieval Ages / Rinaldi, Rossella; Mazzanti, Marta; Benatti, Alessandra; Osti, G.; Labate, D.; Bosi, Giovanna. - STAMPA. - (2014), pp. 106-107. ((Intervento presentato al convegno 3rd International Landscape Archaeology Conference (LAC) tenutosi a Roma nel 17-20 September 2014.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.
Pubblicazioni consigliate

Caricamento pubblicazioni consigliate

Licenza Creative Commons
I metadati presenti in IRIS UNIMORE sono rilasciati con licenza Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal, mentre i file delle pubblicazioni sono rilasciati con licenza Attribuzione 4.0 Internazionale (CC BY 4.0), salvo diversa indicazione.
In caso di violazione di copyright, contattare Supporto Iris

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11380/1083080
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact