The study of seeds/fruits in archaeological excavations in urban areas helps to outline the history of a city and provide informations for the reconstruction of urban land and for the process of urbanization during a certain period of time. Mutina (Modena - Emilia Romagna), “firmissimam et splendidissimam populi romani coloniam” (Cicerone, Philippicae, V, 24,26), founded in 183 BC, was an important city in Roman period to the military-strategic aspects and economic aspects, and therefore worthy of being studied from the point of archaeobotanical view. Carpological research were conducted on six sites, ranging from the Late Republican period and the Late Roman Empire: 1. Ex Cassa di Risparmio (15-40 AD) - reclaimed channel; 2. Palazzo Vaccari (III-VI AD) - domus; 3. Ex Capitol Cinema (II BC-IV AD) - domus; 4. Viale Amendola (II BC-post II AD) - water drainage system and forest; 5. Baggiovara (II BC-VI AD) - necropolis; 6. Cittanova (I BC-II AD) - sanctuary The Ex Cassa di Risparmio site - first Imperial age - brings the most obvious evidence of wealth and welfare of the city, including the availability of non-local products (Olea europaea, Dyospirus lotus, Prunus dulcis), non-fundamental products for subsistence as fruit (over 23 taxa), the cultivation of exotic arrived a short time (Prunus persica, Cucumis melo, Lagenaria siceraria, Morus nigra, ...) and ornamentals (Myrtus communis, Cupressus sempervirens, Platanus orientalis, Celtis australis, Juniperus communis, ...). The area features a large range of crops, including several related to textiles, dyeing and sheep breeding for wool, for which the city of Modena was historically famous (Linum bienne/usitatissimum, Reseda luteola, Cannabis sativa, Carthamus tinctorius, Dipsacus laciniatus, Rubia tinctorum). From the environmental/floristic point of view, in all sites emerge traces of wetlands, which have characterized the urban area until the early XX century, with the presence of species then disappeared from Modena and, in some cases, by whole Emilia Romagna region (Baldellia ranunculoides, Radiola linoides, Cladium mariscus, Cicuta virosa, Callitriche brutia, Leersia oryzoides,…), underlining the most biodiversity exists in the area compared to the current.

Archaeobotany and Urban Sites: the case of Mutina (Modena - Northern Italy) / Rinaldi, Rossella; Bosi, Giovanna; D., Labate; Mazzanti, Marta. - STAMPA. - Environment and Culture 10:(2011), pp. 72-72. ((Intervento presentato al convegno Environmental Archaeology of Urban Sites tenutosi a Gdansk (Danzica) nel 5-10 September 2011.

Archaeobotany and Urban Sites: the case of Mutina (Modena - Northern Italy)

RINALDI, ROSSELLA;BOSI, Giovanna;MAZZANTI, Marta
2011

Abstract

The study of seeds/fruits in archaeological excavations in urban areas helps to outline the history of a city and provide informations for the reconstruction of urban land and for the process of urbanization during a certain period of time. Mutina (Modena - Emilia Romagna), “firmissimam et splendidissimam populi romani coloniam” (Cicerone, Philippicae, V, 24,26), founded in 183 BC, was an important city in Roman period to the military-strategic aspects and economic aspects, and therefore worthy of being studied from the point of archaeobotanical view. Carpological research were conducted on six sites, ranging from the Late Republican period and the Late Roman Empire: 1. Ex Cassa di Risparmio (15-40 AD) - reclaimed channel; 2. Palazzo Vaccari (III-VI AD) - domus; 3. Ex Capitol Cinema (II BC-IV AD) - domus; 4. Viale Amendola (II BC-post II AD) - water drainage system and forest; 5. Baggiovara (II BC-VI AD) - necropolis; 6. Cittanova (I BC-II AD) - sanctuary The Ex Cassa di Risparmio site - first Imperial age - brings the most obvious evidence of wealth and welfare of the city, including the availability of non-local products (Olea europaea, Dyospirus lotus, Prunus dulcis), non-fundamental products for subsistence as fruit (over 23 taxa), the cultivation of exotic arrived a short time (Prunus persica, Cucumis melo, Lagenaria siceraria, Morus nigra, ...) and ornamentals (Myrtus communis, Cupressus sempervirens, Platanus orientalis, Celtis australis, Juniperus communis, ...). The area features a large range of crops, including several related to textiles, dyeing and sheep breeding for wool, for which the city of Modena was historically famous (Linum bienne/usitatissimum, Reseda luteola, Cannabis sativa, Carthamus tinctorius, Dipsacus laciniatus, Rubia tinctorum). From the environmental/floristic point of view, in all sites emerge traces of wetlands, which have characterized the urban area until the early XX century, with the presence of species then disappeared from Modena and, in some cases, by whole Emilia Romagna region (Baldellia ranunculoides, Radiola linoides, Cladium mariscus, Cicuta virosa, Callitriche brutia, Leersia oryzoides,…), underlining the most biodiversity exists in the area compared to the current.
Environmental Archaeology of Urban Sites
Gdansk (Danzica)
5-10 September 2011
Rinaldi, Rossella; Bosi, Giovanna; D., Labate; Mazzanti, Marta
Archaeobotany and Urban Sites: the case of Mutina (Modena - Northern Italy) / Rinaldi, Rossella; Bosi, Giovanna; D., Labate; Mazzanti, Marta. - STAMPA. - Environment and Culture 10:(2011), pp. 72-72. ((Intervento presentato al convegno Environmental Archaeology of Urban Sites tenutosi a Gdansk (Danzica) nel 5-10 September 2011.
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