Environmental History and Development of the Human Landscape in a North-Eastern Italian Lowland during Bronze Age: A Multidisciplinary Case Study.
During the Middle and the Late Bronze Age, the civilization of terramare spread over the entire Po Plain in Northern Italy, on the emerging network between the Italian peninsula, the over-Alpine regions, and the Mediterranean. Some archaeobotanical and geoarchaoelogical studies carried out on terramare in the Southern Po Plain suggest a high impact on tree cover vegetation and on soil use due to intense cultivation and land use during the apex of this civilization. The present project aims at investigating the environmental and land use history of the lowland human landscape of the Valli Grandi Veronesi area, lower Venetian Plain, through analyses of botanical microfossils, such as pollens, non-pollen palynomorphs and phytoliths, compared with analyses of macro-remains. In this alluvial basin, nowadays devoted to crops, several terramare formed a polity among settlements. Among these, the village of Fondo Paviani (Legnago, VR), core of my research, represented a central place. This settlement was active until the Final Bronze Age, being the only element of resilience surviving the crisis that led to the depopulation of the entire Po Plain at the end of the Late Bronze Age.
The lack of mires, lakes and other proper contexts for palaeo-environmental investigations in the study area led to the integration of different archives (on-site, off-site/natural site), in order to collect information about land use and vegetation dynamics at different scales. The archaeological settlement of Fondo Paviani offered contexts in situ, where botanical micro-remains could be studied providing an overview of vegetation and plant use at a local scale. The deposits inside the ditch around the settlement have been sampled being contemporaneous to the life of the settlement since the establishment of the enclosures and the alluvial layers covering the site. Thus, these deposits are a potentially interesting archive for the period of crisis and abandonment of the village and following periods. Micromorphology and geoarchaeology enable a control on the deposition processes that formed the sampled deposits, while archaeological chronology and absolute dating through AMS radiocarbon dating provide chronological support for the palaeo-environmental study in general. The project is carried out in collaboration with the chairs of Pre- and Protohistory of Padova University, Italy, Prof. Giovanni Leonardi and Prof. Michele Cupitò, and in collaboration with the geoarchaeologists Dr. Claudio Balista and Dr. Cristiano Nicosia.
In order to avoid direct human influence and to cover a longer time frame, a continuous, natural sequence has been pursued and cored in correspondence with a peatland inside the palaeo-river valley of Menago River about 5 km northwest of Fondo Paviani in the natural park of Brusà-Le Vallette (Cerea, VR). This area corresponds to one of the few portions of the riverine landscape preserved after land reclamation affected the region beginning in the 18th century. Other natural undisturbed and continuous archives for palaeo-environmental investigations are only available when we widen the research area. Thus, a core from the shore of a small lake of glacial origin in Castellaro Lagusello (Monzambano, MN), south of Lake Garda, has been sampled. This site, even if outside the alluvial plain, provides a unique sequence in the region for the period of investigation (that can be extended to a much longer period of time). Changes in the lake level could provide information about climate, and general vegetation changes can also be followed, especially if correlated with the other studies carried out on lakes of Northern Italy. The study of this core will be carried out in collaboration with Dr. Cesare Ravazzi of the Italian team at CNR-IDPA, Bergamo.
05/2009 - 01/2010
Laboratory activities for master thesis at the “Palynologycal Laboratory - Archaeoenvironmental Laboratory – C.A.A. Giorgio Nicoli S.r.l.” in San Giovanni in Persiceto (Bologna, Italy). Laboratory preparation and investigation at microscope of pollen samples from an on-site profile in the Bronze age site of Fondo Paviani (Verona, Italy).
02/2009 – 05/2009
Working experience as archaeological technician for “Geoarcheologi associati s.a.s.” in a medieval-classical age rescue archaeology excavation in the centre of Padova (Italy). Stratigraphic excavation, Harris matrix and drawing archaeological plans/profiles.
09/2009, 09/2008, 10/2007
Excavation of the Bronze age village Fondo Paviani, Legnago (Verona, Italy), University of Padova (prof. G. Leonardi, dr. M.Cupitò). Survey and excavation; drawing profiles; supervisor for sampling and sieving archaeobotanical remains.
Excavation at the classical and medieval site of Terme Neroniane, Montegrotto (Padova, Italy), University of Padova (prof. S. Pesavento). Drawing laboratory.
Excavation of the Bronze age site of Castel de Pedena, S. Gregorio nelle Alpi (Belluno, Italy), University of Padova (prof. G. Leonardi). Excavation; drawing activity
Archaeobotanical course, “C.A.A. Giorgio Nicoli s.r.l.”, S.Giovanni in Persiceto (Bologna, Italy)
Excavation of the early-middleage village of Nogara, Nogara (Verona,Italy), University of Padova (prof. G.P. Brogiolo). Excavation, zooarchaeological sampling
Excavation of a Roman rural house at Cà Tron, Roncade (Treviso, Italy), University of Padova (prof. M.S. Busana)
Excavation of a limekiln, ethnoarchaeological context, Luserna (Trento, Italy), University of Padova (prof. A. De Guio)
Marta Dal Corso, Cristiano Nicosia, Elisa Dalla Longa, Michele Cupitò, Giovanni Leonardi, Wiebke Kirleis: Bronze Age crop processing evidences from the phytolith assemblages of the hydraulic structures of Fondo Paviani (N-Italy). Vegetation history and archaeobotany
Wiebke Kirleis, Marta Dal Corso (2015): Chapter 11: Trypillian Subsistence Economy: Animal and Plant Exploitation. In: J. Müller, K. Rassmann, M. Videiko (eds.), Trypillia Mega-sites and European Prehistory 4100-3400 BCE. Themes in Contemporary Archaeology 2, Leeds 2015
René Ohlrau, Marta Dal Corso, Wiebke Kirleis, Johannes Müller (2015): Chapter 12: Living on the Edge? Carrying Capacities of Trypillian Settlements in the Buh-Dnipro Interfluve. In: J. Müller, K. Rassmann, M. Videiko (eds.), Trypillia Mega-sites and European Prehistory 4100-3400 BCE. Themes in Contemporary Archaeology 2, Leeds 2015
M. Dal Corso, W. Kirleis, Analisi palinologica da un bacino umido vicino a Fondo Paviani (Verona). In: G. Leonardi/V. Tinè (eds.), Studi di Preistoria e Protostoria 2 – Brevi Note, Istituto Italiano di Preistoria e Protostoria, Padova 2015, 631-637
Michele Cupitò, Giovanni Leonardi, Elisa Dalla Longa, Cristiano Nicosia, Claudio Balista, Marta Dal Corso, Wiebke Kirleis (2015). Fondo Paviani (Legnago, Verona): il central place della polity delle Valli Grandi Veronesi nella tarda Età del bronzo. Cronologia, aspetti culturali, evoluzione delle strutture e trasformazioni paleoambientali. In: G. Leonardi/V. Tinè (eds.), Studi di Preistoria e Protostoria 2 – Brevi Note, Istituto Italiano di Preistoria e Protostoria, Padova 2015
Jutta Kneisel, Marta Dal Corso, Nicole Taylor, Wiebke Kirleis (2015): Conclusions. In: J. Kneisel, N. Taylor, M. Dal Corso, W. Kirleis (eds.), Setting the Bonze Age Table, Habelt, Bonn
Jutta Kneisel, Wiebke Kirleis, Marta Dal Corso, Nicole Taylor (eds.), (2015): Setting the Bronze Age Table: Production, subsistence, diet and their implications for European Landscapes. Proceedings of the International Workshop "Socio-Environmental Dynamics over the Last 12,000 Years: The Creation of Landscapes III (15th - 18th April 2013)" in Kiel. Universitätsforschungen zur Prähistorischen Archäologie. Bonn: Dr. Rudolf Habelt GmbH
D.A. Contreras, V. Robin, R. Gonda, R. Hodara, M. Dal Corso, C. Makarewicz (2014): (Before and) After the Flood: A Multiproxy Approach to Past Floodplain Usage in the Middle Wadi al-Hasa, Jordan, Journal of Arid Environments 110, 30-43.
J. Kneisel, W. Kirleis, M. Dal Corso, N. Taylor, V. Tiedtke (eds.), Collapse or Continuity? Environment and Development of Bronze Age Human Landscapes – Proceedings of the International Workshop “Socio-Environmental Dynamics over the Last 12,000 Years: The Creation of Landscapes II” 14 – 18. 03. 2011 Kiel, vol. 1, Habelt, Bonn, 2012
M. Dal Corso, M. Marchesini, G. Leonardi, W. Kirleis, Environmental changes and human impact during Bronze Age in northern Italy: on-site palynological investigation at Fondo Paviani (Legnago, Verona). In J. Kneisel, W. Kirleis, M. Dal Corso, N. Taylor, V. Tiedtke (eds.), Collapse or Continuity? Environment and Development of Bronze Age Human Landscapes – Proceedings of the International Workshop “Socio-Environmental Dynamics over the Last 12,000 Years: The Creation of Landscapes II” (14th-18th March 2011) in Kiel, vol. 1, Habelt, Bonn, 2012.
Jutta Kneisel, Wiebke Kirleis, Marta Dal Corso and Nicole Taylor: Collapse or Continuity? Concluding Remarks on the Environment and Development of Bronze Age Human Landscapes. In: Jutta Kneisel, Wiebke Kirleis, Marta Dal Corso, Nicole Taylor and Verena Tiedtke (eds.) 2012: Collapse or Continuity? Environment and Development of Bronze Age Human Landscapes. Proceedings of the International Workshop "Socio-Environmental Dynamics over the Last 12,000 Years: The Creation of Landscapes II (14th - 18th March 2011)" in Kiel, Volume 1, Universitätsforschungen zur prähistorischen Archäologie 205, Verlag Dr. Rudolf Habelt GmbH, Bonn, 2012.