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L - TERRANOVA F., ACCORSI C.A., BANDINI MAZZANTI M., MERCURI A.M., TORRI P., MANICARDI E., MONTECCHI M.C., OLMI L., RINALDI R., VALENTI A., BENASSI F., PENSABENE P., TUSA S., 2009 - Indagini archeopalinologiche in Sicilia a Taormina, Piazza Armerina e Mozia. In: Centro Regionale per la Progettazione ed il Restauro e per le Scienze Naturali ed Applicate ai Beni Culturali (ed.), Atti del III convegno internazionale di studi “La materia e i segni della storia - Scienza e Patrimonio Culturale nel Mediterraneo - Diagnostica e Conservazione. Esperienze e proposte per una carta del rischio” (Palermo 18-21 ottobre 2007). I Quaderni di Palazzo Montalbo, N.15, Reg. siciliana, Ass.Beni Cult. Amb.e Pub. Istruz., Palermo, pp. 284-294. ISBN 978-88-6164-086-3 ARCHEO



  Recently, the Bio-archaeological Laboratory of the CRPR, conscious of the importance of Archaeopalynology to improve the scientific knowledge on the Sicilian archaeological sites, has set up a steady collaboration with the Laboratory of Palynology and Palaeobotany of the Modena and Reggio Emilia University Three sites of different age and location are currently under investigation for pollen. Some information on the natural and cultural landscape of the involved areas and times has been obtained so far.The first study concerns the Ancient Theatre of Taormina. Two cores sampled inside the theatre were analyzed for pollen. Based on pollen spectra, two reconstructions of the landscape (in the Greek – Roman times and in subsequent, pre-recent times) were drawn. Moreover a list of plants for the design of an “archaeobotanical garden”, and suggestions for the green architecture were inferred from pollen assemblages: Acanthus, Rosa for flowerbeds; Buxus, Crataegus, Myrtus for hedges, and a number of other trees/shrubs which were evidence of their growing to have edible fruits (Castanea, Juglans, Olea, Prunus, Vitis), or their use for decoration or their presence in the natural woody cover (Cupressus/Juniperus, Quercus ilex, Pinus, Populus, Platanus). The second study concerns the submerged road of Mozia. It connected the island Phoenician colony to the necropolis located in the near coast, and also probably led to land devoted to fields and pastures. Seven cores were sampled about one meter under the water level, near the point where the road joins the island. Pollen analysis, in progress, are mainly showing a patchwork of natural and cultural landscape featured by Mediterranean evergreen trees/shrubs (Chamaerops, Cistus, Myrtus, Quercus ilex, Quercus suber, Phillyrea, Pistacia lentiscus), olive groves, cereal fields, pastures and waste ground (Olea, Hordeum gruppo, Avena-Triticum-gruppo, Gramineae, Plantago, Rumex, Parietaria, Urtica), near the sea (cf. Salsola, cf. Suaeda, Limonium). Some changes in the flora/vegetation pattern and pollen concentration/preservation suggest that in the past the road was sometimes emerged, and that the human impact in the surroundings of the roads varied. The third study concerns the Medieval settlement of Piazza Armerina. Pollen indicated a cultural hilly landscape of the Mediterranean area (Olea, Quercus ilex, Pistacia lentiscus, Phillyrea, Myrtus communis, plus various broadleaves and some conifers (Quercus pubescens s.l., Castanea, Juglans, Morus, Prunus, Abies, Pinus, Juniperus), a long list of herbs with abundant Cichorioideade and Gramineae, some cereals and vegetable) near a river (Alnus, Nerium, Populus, Salix, Alisma, cf. Hottonia, Nymphaea, Potamogeton, Typha). During the I phase (10th – 12th century AD), a quite thick forest cover characterized both the natural and the cultural landscape. In the II phase (12th century AD), there was a notable deforestation and pastures spread.