The paper presents a synthesis of the on-site archaeobotanical investigations of the Terramara di Montale, one of the most important sites of the Terramara cultural system which characterised the Po Plain in the Middle-Late Bronze Age (1650-1200 B.C.). Samples for pollen analysis and macroremains, including seed/fruit and wood/charcoal records, were collected from stratigraphic sequences and occupation levels during the excavations 1996-2001. The results permitted the reconstruction of the main characteristics of the landscape which at the onset of the Terramara rapidly passed from a natural, more forested landscape with mixed oak wood and conifers to a more open and anthropic landscape characterised by cereal fields, pastures and meadows. People felled oaks and other trees such as Populus/Salix and Fraxinus to make piles or walls for houses. Wood from these species was also recorded as charcoal in the hearths. Palynological and carpological data show that the inhabitants of the Terramara largely founded their economy on cereals (mainly Triticum aestivum/durum, T. dicoccum and Hordeum vulgare). They also grew a few legumes (Vicia faba var. minor, Vicia sp. and Lens culinaris ). There was also grazing by domestic animals, mainly ovicaprines but also pigs and cattle, and these were fed exploiting wild plants such as Carpinus. In the paper the four main steps of the history of the Terramara are described (before the Terramara, the onset, the Terramara phase, the decline) during which both human influence and climatic changes were important. At the onset of the Terramara (around 1600 B.C.) a warm and possibly dry phase occurred. The intense use of the territory and a climatic deterioration at around 1300 B.C. might have triggered the decline of the Terramara di Montale.
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|Anno di pubblicazione:||2006|
|Titolo:||Economy and Environment of Bronze Age settlements - Terramaras - on the Po Plain (Northern Italy): first results from the archaeobotanical research at the Terramara di Montale|
|Autori:||A.M. Mercuri; C.A. Accorsi; M. Bandini Mazzanti; G. Bosi; A. Cardarelli; D. Labate; M. Marchesini; G. Trevisan Grandi|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1007/s00334-006-0034-1|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Articolo su rivista|
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