Cores and trenches drilled or dug in religious and secular buildings in the hilltop town of Bergamo (northern Italy) were investigated by means of micro/macrobotanical and pedochemical analysis to unravel the cultural vegetation history of the area during ca. seven centuries across the Bronze—Iron Ages. We explore the predictive power of biological proxies, nutrients, and coupled 14C datings to reveal early phases of human settlement and activity in a modern urban context with low visibility and difficult accessibility. Our records suggest that a farming centre was active on the Bergamo hilltop as early as the 15th century bc. Crop and animal husbandry reached a high point between the 11th-8th century bc. Plant and biogeochemical proxies predict extensive and diversified cereal cropping, flax and grapevine cultivation, as well as herd stalling at a watering pond, free range livestock growing in woodlands, and pastoralism, shown by hay making and overgrazing evidence. The suggestive hypothesis of carding wool is mentioned but is currently untenable. Furthermore, we identified a possible phase of abandonment starting from the 8th century bc, to be further investigated, and in agreement with archaeological data suggesting settlement decline in the 8th-6th century bc. Our research highlights the dedication to pastoralism of the Bergamo hill since prehistoric times. The settlement position was strategic for pastoralists to exploit biological and water resources in space, season and elevation, i.e. from the plain to higher Alpine pastures. Ethnographic examples and Middle Age written sources strongly support this picture.

Pini, R., Ravazzi, C., Comolli, R., Perego, R., Castellano, L., Croci, C., et al. (2021). Life on a hilltop: vegetation history, plant husbandry and pastoralism at the dawn of Bergamo-Bergomum (northern Italy, 15th to 7th century bc). VEGETATION HISTORY AND ARCHAEOBOTANY, 30(4), 525-553 [10.1007/s00334-020-00802-1].

Life on a hilltop: vegetation history, plant husbandry and pastoralism at the dawn of Bergamo-Bergomum (northern Italy, 15th to 7th century bc)

Ravazzi C.;Comolli R.;De Amicis M.;Furlanetto G.;
2021

Abstract

Cores and trenches drilled or dug in religious and secular buildings in the hilltop town of Bergamo (northern Italy) were investigated by means of micro/macrobotanical and pedochemical analysis to unravel the cultural vegetation history of the area during ca. seven centuries across the Bronze—Iron Ages. We explore the predictive power of biological proxies, nutrients, and coupled 14C datings to reveal early phases of human settlement and activity in a modern urban context with low visibility and difficult accessibility. Our records suggest that a farming centre was active on the Bergamo hilltop as early as the 15th century bc. Crop and animal husbandry reached a high point between the 11th-8th century bc. Plant and biogeochemical proxies predict extensive and diversified cereal cropping, flax and grapevine cultivation, as well as herd stalling at a watering pond, free range livestock growing in woodlands, and pastoralism, shown by hay making and overgrazing evidence. The suggestive hypothesis of carding wool is mentioned but is currently untenable. Furthermore, we identified a possible phase of abandonment starting from the 8th century bc, to be further investigated, and in agreement with archaeological data suggesting settlement decline in the 8th-6th century bc. Our research highlights the dedication to pastoralism of the Bergamo hill since prehistoric times. The settlement position was strategic for pastoralists to exploit biological and water resources in space, season and elevation, i.e. from the plain to higher Alpine pastures. Ethnographic examples and Middle Age written sources strongly support this picture.
Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico
Bergomum; Bronze—Iron Ages palaeoecology; Cultural vegetation history; Grassland ecology; Hay meadows; Nutrients ecology;
English
525
553
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Pini, R., Ravazzi, C., Comolli, R., Perego, R., Castellano, L., Croci, C., et al. (2021). Life on a hilltop: vegetation history, plant husbandry and pastoralism at the dawn of Bergamo-Bergomum (northern Italy, 15th to 7th century bc). VEGETATION HISTORY AND ARCHAEOBOTANY, 30(4), 525-553 [10.1007/s00334-020-00802-1].
Pini, R; Ravazzi, C; Comolli, R; Perego, R; Castellano, L; Croci, C; De Amicis, M; Khair, D; Furlanetto, G; Marsetti, D
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/355220
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