Universitätsforschungen zur prähistorischen Archäologie Bd. 312 (Human Development in Landscapes 12)

Environmental history and development of the human landscape in a northeastern Italian lowland during the Bronze Age: a multidisciplinary case-study
Marta Dal Corso
 

Natural resources such as wood for timber, land for cultivation and pastures, and water for irrigation and transport had primary importance in the economy of the first sedentary agricultural societies. To trace changes in such key resources can help in the identification (or exclusion) of triggers for cultural and social development. What happens when human impact forces the limits of renewability? Were prehistoric societies flexible enough to react to unexpected environmental stress? This volume provides new data for understanding the environmental conditions in northeastern Italy at the time of the collapse of the Terramare Culture during the Recent and the Final Bronze Age (14th –11th century BC). This culture occupied the floodplain with a dense settlement system and developed a rich network of contacts. To investigate the dynamics behind its abrupt abandonment, an interdisciplinary research project was developed, which investigated one of the rare areas of resilience corresponding with the archaeological site of Fondo Paviani (Legnago, Verona). The study of plant micro-remains (pollen, NPPs, phytoliths) from sedimentary archives enable the reconstruction of the vegetation history and plant use around the site. Among the highlights of this research, the spread of cultivated land, woodland loss, and a temporary period of drought correspond to external causes enhancing the crisis. Together with demographic pressure, those factors contributed to the general collapse of the system, except at Fondo Paviani, where cultural factors, such as the emergence of social complexity, most likely helped the society to cope with environmental limits. To get a broader view on the vegetation history of the region, in addition a sediment core in the lake basin of Castellaro Lagusello (Monzambano, Mantova) has been investigated for pollen and NPPs. This record depicts the vegetation of the alpine foothills south of Garda Lake and offers insight into woodland composition and changes in the Mid- and Late Holocene.

Bonn, Habelt 2018
- eBook available -
ISBN 978-3-7749-4151-9