Plant records from archaeological sites provide information on the past relationships between human populations and environment. Today, old people preserve the so-called traditional knowledge, transmitted from generation to generation and constantly recreated and developed by communities and groups in response to their environment, their interaction with nature and their history. This is an “Intangible Cultural Heritage” whose roots can be investigated through ethno- and archaeobotany. It provides people with a sense of identity and continuity. This field of integrated research promotes the respect for cultural diversity and human creativity. Within the multidisciplinary studies carried out in different sites of the Sahara desert, in Libya and Niger (Mercuri, 2008; Mercuri et al., in press), pollen and seeds/fruits helped to reconstruct past biodiversity giving details on the flora and vegetation cover that characterised the area during the early and middle Holocene. Plant records are known to be effective tools to reconstruct plant landscape evolution, as they permit to study diachronically environmental changes. However, a number of data put also on evidence the use of plants for food, medicine, votive offerings and to make basketry and huts. Data from burials, rockshelters and caves enhance our knowledge of ancient customs and traditions, which can often correlate with the current uses of selected plants. Ethnobotanical observations on Tuareg today use of plants, especially for food and medicinal plants, are a key reference to interpret archaeobotanical data. Mercuri A.M., 2008. Plant exploitation and ethnopalynological evidence from the Wadi Teshuinat area (Tadrart Acacus, Libyan Sahara). Journal of Archaeological Science, 35 (6): 1619-1642Mercuri A.M., Massamba N’siala I., Florenzano A., in press. Environmental and ethnobotanical data inferred from pollen of Gobero and the dried lakebeds in the surrounding area. In: Garcea (Ed.) Gobero: the No-Return Frontier Archaeology and Landscape at the Saharo-Sahelian Borderland. Journal of African Archaeology

ARCHAEOBOTANY AND ETHNOBOTANY TO EXPLORE PAST AND PRESENT RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN PLANTS AND PEOPLE IN THE SAHARA DESERT / MASSAMBA N'SIALA, Isabella; Florenzano, Assunta; Mercuri, Anna Maria. - ELETTRONICO. - (2011), pp. x-x.

ARCHAEOBOTANY AND ETHNOBOTANY TO EXPLORE PAST AND PRESENT RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN PLANTS AND PEOPLE IN THE SAHARA DESERT

MASSAMBA N'SIALA, Isabella;FLORENZANO, Assunta;MERCURI, Anna Maria
2011

Abstract

Plant records from archaeological sites provide information on the past relationships between human populations and environment. Today, old people preserve the so-called traditional knowledge, transmitted from generation to generation and constantly recreated and developed by communities and groups in response to their environment, their interaction with nature and their history. This is an “Intangible Cultural Heritage” whose roots can be investigated through ethno- and archaeobotany. It provides people with a sense of identity and continuity. This field of integrated research promotes the respect for cultural diversity and human creativity. Within the multidisciplinary studies carried out in different sites of the Sahara desert, in Libya and Niger (Mercuri, 2008; Mercuri et al., in press), pollen and seeds/fruits helped to reconstruct past biodiversity giving details on the flora and vegetation cover that characterised the area during the early and middle Holocene. Plant records are known to be effective tools to reconstruct plant landscape evolution, as they permit to study diachronically environmental changes. However, a number of data put also on evidence the use of plants for food, medicine, votive offerings and to make basketry and huts. Data from burials, rockshelters and caves enhance our knowledge of ancient customs and traditions, which can often correlate with the current uses of selected plants. Ethnobotanical observations on Tuareg today use of plants, especially for food and medicinal plants, are a key reference to interpret archaeobotanical data. Mercuri A.M., 2008. Plant exploitation and ethnopalynological evidence from the Wadi Teshuinat area (Tadrart Acacus, Libyan Sahara). Journal of Archaeological Science, 35 (6): 1619-1642Mercuri A.M., Massamba N’siala I., Florenzano A., in press. Environmental and ethnobotanical data inferred from pollen of Gobero and the dried lakebeds in the surrounding area. In: Garcea (Ed.) Gobero: the No-Return Frontier Archaeology and Landscape at the Saharo-Sahelian Borderland. Journal of African Archaeology
Istanbul (Turkey)
22-25/11/2011
MASSAMBA N'SIALA, Isabella; Florenzano, Assunta; Mercuri, Anna Maria
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11380/755451
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