Reconstructing past agro-pastoral systems from environmental archaeology in Liguria / B.I. Menozzi
Reconstructing past agro-sylvo-pastoral systems from environmental archaeology and historical ecology sites in Ligurian Mountain (Italy). Menozzi, Bruna Ilde (Université de Gênes). In "La construction des territoires montagnards : exploitation des ressources et mobilité des pratiques. 2ème International Workshop on archaeology of european mountain landscape, organisé par les Laboratoires TRACES et GEODE (Toulouse) et le Centre d'Archéologie Préhistorique du Rhône aux Alpes (Valence, France). Université Toulouse II-Le Mirail, 8-11 octobre 2009. [Première journée.]
The reconstruction of past management practices and the interpretation of change factors in the study of historical processes and functions of past agro-sylvi-pastoral systems are the main focus of the study of a number of sites in NW Italy mountains for the last ten years. We experienced that dynamics and modelling of different local systems need a geographical-historical microanalytical approach to the sites. Moreover, a regressive method and a high resolution in producing and employing field evidences are required. This approach, according to local history and environmental archaeology methods, tests and crosses different kinds of sources, which include archaeobotany, historical geography (archival, cartographic sources), field evidence (historical ecology, environmental and rural archaeology) and oral sources at the topographical scale. As an example of a historical microanalytical approach to the site study, palynological data from two wetlands located on opposite slopes in the upper Aveto Valley (NW Italy Apennines, municipality of Rezzoaglio) are compared. The pollen catchment areas are different because of altitude (800 m -Lago di Rezzo, and 1100 m- Mogge di Ertola) and distance from rural settlements. Nevertheless, both sites preserved traces of the medieval cultural landscapes that proof their inclusion in the complex agro-sylvi-pastoral system in which chestnut groves, wooded"meadows, pastures and fields appears to be essential components. In both pollen diagrams different tree species (fir and beech vs. oaks) dominate by turns accordingly with altitude, while low percentages of hazel, walnut, chestnut and cereals alternate along the sequence. The occurrence of coprophilous fungi suggests dunging or livestock watering. Microcharcoal frequency fluctuates in connection with other anthropogenic indicators, suggesting a role of fire in the land management. The important changes of the cultural landscape which occurred in the last decades are well represented in the pollen diagrams and associated with historical changes in the ecology of the sites.