Among the sciences applied in archaeology, archaeobotany fills a crucial piece of the Cultural Heritage puzzle. It assists us in understanding how a population exploits the environment. The study of Archaeobotany allows researchers to explore the evolution of the cultural landscape (1,2) through the use of plants, which is at the core of understanding modern human impact and sustainability. These issues also include conditions of life and diet, the exploitation of domestic and wild plants, the relationship between environmental modifications and cultural patterns as a result of human settlements. Social responses to climate change are the result of both human perception of nature and adaptation to its changing environment.(3) As a follow-up to an EU PaCE project (4), and under the same key-words ‘Plants and Culture’, we propose to extend our archaeobotanical network into Mediterranean countries. The main aim of this PaCEM network is to establish joint and coordinated associations with archaeological sites belonging to major ancient civilizations. In the communication we wish to present case studies from this research.Cultural landscape reconstruction, based on integrated micro- and macro-remains studies, is one of the last challenges for palynologists and archaeobotanists. The knowledge of past environments plays an important role in assisting archaeologists, historians, environmentalists, geographers and many other experts. A correct and adapted sampling strategy is at the base of all scientific investigations at archaeological sites; however, a univocal protocol can be difficult to assess. Recent studies point out that archaeobotanical sampling has not only to be carried out in the case of visible records, but should be carefully located within “anthropic” layers. It is clear that all known techniques for the archaeological recovery of plants and analysis conducted, should be applied consistently to all samples. Distinguishing signs of anthropic action, influence and impact by means of not-intentional or intentional plant management can be achieved not only by approaching the problem within a multidisciplinary framework, but also by parallel studies carried out both on pollen and macro-remains. It is only through the careful application of both forms of data collection and treatment, that a more complete picture of the past landscape can be achieved. (1) “Cultural Landscapes of the Past. Special issue of Plant Biosystems (Sadori L., Mercuri A.M. eds), in preparation(2) 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.(3) “Mid-Holocene climate change in the Mediterranean region and its consequences”. Special issue of The Holocene (Roberts Ch. N., Sadori L., Perez R. eds)(4) “Plants and culture: seeds of the cultural heritage of Europe” PaCE project. (CLT2007/1.2.1/it-182; 15 November 2007-15 July 2009; coordinator A. M. Mercuri) – www.plants-culture.unimore.it
Archaeobotany and Cultural Heritage in the Mediterranean area: the research of the PaCEM - Plants and Culture in Euromediterranean Area - Network / Sadori, Laura; Mercuri, Anna Maria; A. G., Fahmy; L., Pena Chocarro; J. A., Lopez Saez; A., Sarpaki; S. M., Valamoti; Bosi, Giovanna; Mazzanti, Marta; M., Giardini; A., Masi. - STAMPA. - I:(2009), pp. 284-284. (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).