In Italy, archaeobotanical research from urban contexts dated to the Roman period, if compared with results from other areas under the influence of Romans, is rather scanty. Available analytical data suggest that the landscape of Rome during the Imperial period in the area of the Seven Hills kept natural conditions. Archaeological levels rich in charcoal interpreted as traces of a fire, probably the Nero’s one (64 AD) were found in the founding of Tabernae belonging to Domus Tiberiana, facing via Nova, at the foot of Palatine hill. Charcoals belong both to native and imported trees. Recent archaeological excavations brought to light seedbeds (dating back to the 1st century AD) of the garden of Horti Luculliani. Pollen suggested an open natural environment, where deciduous and evergreen arboreal elements were accompanied by spontaneous herbs. Romans used also exotic trees like palms as decoration elements of important monuments like the mausoleum of Antinous at Villa Hadriana near Tivoli. Near Rome, the town of Portus arose and developed together with the imperial harbour. Two sediment cores taken in the area indicate that since the 1st century AD a typical Mediterranean coastal environment was present, with coexistence of deciduous and evergreen elements. Clear signs of increasing human presence linked to the expansion of the town are evidenced by both pollen and seeds/fruits since the 3rd cent. AD. In the Emilia Romagna region, the archaeobotanical analyses of two towns permitted to explore palaeo-environmental and ethnobotanical features of colonies located more northern in the Italian peninsula. At the time of its foundation, around the 3rd century BC, Parma, hosted a sacred area in the place that today is the central square of Piazza Garibaldi. Votive plant offerings were recorded. The association of opium poppy seeds and cereal pollen suggested that the area was mainly dedicated to Ceres, the goddess of crops and soil fertility. Mutina, today Modena, was founded in 183 BC and became soon a strategic center of economic relevance. The seeds and fruits from six sites showed a rich biodiversity (454 taxa) especially including records from wetlands and human environments. A significant amount of seeds of Linum bienne/usitatissimum and Reseda luteola was interpreted as an evidence of the long-time tradition of textile industry carried out in this area.
Plant micro-and macroremains from urban roman context of Northern and Central Italy / L., Sadori; Mercuri, Anna Maria; Bosi, Giovanna; Florenzano, Assunta; M., Giardini; A., Masi; Mazzanti, Marta; Rinaldi, Rossella; C., Pepe; D., Sabato. - STAMPA. - Environment and Culture 10:(2011), pp. 52-52. (Intervento presentato al convegno Environmental Archaeology of Urban Sites tenutosi a Gdansk (Danzica) nel 5-10 September 2011).