Archaeobotanical analyses have been carried out on the site Piazza Garibaldi of Parma, a city located in the Po plain in Emilia Romagna, a region of Northern Italy. The studied layers were dated to the 4th - 2nd cent. BC, i.e. around the time of the Roman foundation of the city, and to the 9th – 12th cent. AD. In Roman times the site was probably a sacral area, while in Medieval Age it was a market square. Concerning Medieval Age, the archaeological structures which were archaeobotanically studied included four pits and one latrine. Pollen, seeds/fruits and parasite remains were useful for both palaeoenvironmental and palaeoethnobotanical reconstructions. Analyses of plant and parasite remains suggested that the infillings consisted of waste, human and animal excrements, deteriorated vegetal food and marcs. Pollen samples were treated according to a method using Na-pyrophosphate, HCl 10%, filtration, acetolysis, heavy liquid separation, HF 40%. Eggs of intestinal parasites belonging to Trichuris, Ascaris, Taenia, Capillaria, Dicrocaelium, Diphyllobotrium genera were observed during pollen analyses. Eggs of Ascaris and Trichuris are present in large amount in all samples. Eggs of Ascaris are extremely abundant in the medieval sites in Europe, and they are considered a faecal pollution indicator. Ascaris lumbricoides and A. suum (human and pig parasite respectively) have morphologically similar eggs. Contrarily, eggs of Trichuris trichiura (human parasite) are statistically considerably smaller than those of T. suis (pig parasite). Therefore, 100 eggs of genera Trichuris were measured and data were statistically analyzed. Concerning the latrine are all distributed around the mean size value of T. trichiura. The combination of T. trichiura and Ascaris sp. is typical for human escrements (Bouchet et al., 2003). Thus may be assumed that this latrine was not used for animal faeces. Interestingly pollen from entomophilous plants was common in the latrine, possibly partly due to human consumption of honey (Pearsall, 2008). Concerning pits, Trichuris eggs showed a wider size range and probably belong to both the species. Moreover, eggs of other animal parasites (Capillaria, Dicrocoelium dendriticum, Diphyllobothrium) were found in small amount. The combination of human and animal parasite eggs and the large amount of Graminae pollen, suggest that pits placed in the market square were used to eliminate plant and animal waste products.References Bouchet F., Harter S., Le Bailly M., 2003. The state of the art of paleoparasitological research in the old world. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz 98(Suppl. 1): 95-101.Pearsall D.M., 2008. Paleoethnobotany. A handbook of procedures. Emerald Group Publishing Limited
The city of Parma (Emilia Romagna - Italy). Seeds and fruits, pollen and parasite remains from layers dated to Medieval Age / Florenzano, Assunta; Pederzoli, Aurora; Mazzanti, Marta; Bosi, Giovanna; Rinaldi, Rossella; Torri, Paola; Mercuri, Anna Maria. - STAMPA. - \:(2010), pp. 17-17. (Intervento presentato al convegno 4th Workshop Non Pollen Palynomorphs tenutosi a Besancon nel 16-19 June 2010).