Not considering Identity and Globalisation as antithetic and contradictory words is one of the striking challenges of the present century. Scientists deal with evidence to document our cultural roots, evidence that can be regarded either as different features or as similarities between people from different countries. Plants are an exceptional medium for observing identity and globalization of food, exploitation of natural resources for different uses, and popular traditions. Since 2007, the team of botanists and archaeologists of the PaCE project have jointly operated in this direction working on the Intercultural Dialogue (European Year 2008) under the call 09/2006 of the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). PaCE - ‘peace’ in Italian, ‘rhythm’ in English - is the acronym for ‘Plants and Culture: seeds of the cultural heritage of Europe’, a Culture Programme 2007-2013 project promoting the recovering and dissemination of the green cultural heritage common to Europe. The project promotes joint actions based on an innovative partnership among universities, research institutions and museums involving countries from North, East, South and West Europe: Italy, Poland, Norway and Spain as partners, were supported by institutions from Bulgaria, England, France, Hungary, Greece, Romania, San Marino, and Turkey. The leaves of box (Buxus sempervirens L.) were drawn in the project logo (in the figure): the plant is well known today, mainly because it is excellent for hedging, but its history as a plant useful to humans goes far back. For the Ancient Greeks, box was a symbol of life, sacred to Pluto, while in northern European countries, it is a plant of peace, used in Palm Sunday traditions. The PaCE project has developed scientific knowledge on the significance of plants in human life, in a diachronical vision, using the language of archaeobotany and ethnobotany. The main researches contribution presented data from the history of useful plants (for example, box-Buxus, peach-Prunus persica, purslane-Portulaca oleracea), key archaeological sites (Rome and its vicinity, Budapest, Ferrara, Pompei), popular practices (leaf-throwing-Phyllobolia from ancient Greece) and the value of trees and scented herbs in symbolic and religious sphere. The project has focused on the links between plants and culture in its research and popularization activities: i) a scientific research network and printing of a scientific book (1); ii) a dissemination network for the popularization of this theme, providing plant history and traditions in the languages and cultures of Europe; iii) a web-site and an exhibition realised as joint actions. This project translates intercultural dialogue on the scientific and humanistic cultural heritage of Europe into a concrete action in the form of the PaCE trans-European exhibition, that proves a simple, visible way of getting the message of intercultural dialogue across to people at all levels. A total of 80 posters, realised by research groups from eleven countries, and translated into ten languages, were housed at 23 locations of Europe. The complete list of partners and associated partners, the virtual exhibition and free downloading of scientific papers are available in the project website: www.plants-culture.unimore.it.(1) Morel J.-P., A.M. Mercuri (eds), 2009 – Plants and Culture: seeds of the cultural heritage of Europe. Centro Europeo per i Beni Culturali Ravello, Edipuglia Bari.
Writing history through plants as a means of recovering a common culture. the example of PaCE Project (Culture Programme 2007-2013) / Mercuri, Anna Maria; Sadori, Laura; J., Madeja; D., Moe; J. P., Morel; Mazzanti, Marta; Bosi, Giovanna; M., Giardini; A., Masi; I., Massamba Nsiala; Olmi, Linda; P. H., Salvesen. - STAMPA. - \:(2009), pp. 30-30. (Intervento presentato al convegno 4th International Congress on "Science and Technology for the Safeguard of Cultural Heritage in the Mediterranean Basin" tenutosi a Cairo nel 6-8 December 2009).