Past environments of Sardinian archaeological sites (Italy, West Mediterranean Sea), based on palynofacies characterization
More details
Hide details
Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche e Geologiche, Università degli Studi di Cagliari, Via Trentino 51, I-09127 Cagliari, Italy
Online publication date: 2018-06-19
Publication date: 2018-06-19
Acta Palaeobotanica 2018; 58(1): 73–93
A study method based on characterization of palynofacies (organic matter, palynomorphs) preserved in sediments was applied to obtain information about past environments of Sardinian sites. Organic matter (OM) was classified in ten categories according to its biological source, ecological characteristics, morphology and preservation state. These categories included woody and non-woody particles (cuticles, amorphous organic matter), phytoclasts, spores and pollen grains, gelified particles, and altered phytoclasts that ranged from transparent to opaque fragments. Cluster analysis classified the samples into associations. Each cluster includes stations with a similar spatial distribution pattern. The characterization of the different types of OM was coupled with palynological analyses to produce suggested hypotheses about past vegetation, human activity and land use in Sardinia.
ACQUARO E., CARAMIELLO R., VERGA F., ORTU E. & AROBBA D. 2001. Analyses palynologiques et anthracologiques du site phénicien-punique de Tharros (Sardaigne). Revue d’Archèometrie, 25: 45–51.
ANTONIOLI F., ANZIDEI M., LAMBECK K., AURIEMMA R., GADDI D., FURLANI S., ORRÙ P., SOLINAS E., GASPARI A., KARINJA S., KOVAC V. & SURACE L. 2007. Sea-level change during the Holocene in Sardinia and in the northeastern Adriatic (central Mediterranean Sea) from archaeological and geomorphological data. Quat. Sci. Rev., 26: 2463–2486.
ANTONIOLI F., FERRANTI L., FONTANA A., AMOROSI A., BONDESAN A., BRAITENBERG C., DUTTON A. FONTOLAN G., FURLANI S., LAMBECK K., MASTRONUZZI G., MONACO C., SPADA G. & STOCCHI P. 2009. Holocene relative sea-level changes and vertical movements along the Italian and Istrian coastlines. Quat. Int., 206: 102–133.
BARBACKA M., BODOR E., JARZYNKA A., KUSTATSCHER E., PACYNA G., POPA M.E., SCANU G.G., THÉVENARD F. & ZIAJA J. 2014. European Jurassic floras: Statistics and palaeoenvironmental proxies. Acta Palaeobot., 54: 173–195.
BATTEN D.J. 1996. Chapter 26A. Palynofacies and palaeoenvironmental interpretation: 1011–1064. In: JANSONIUS J. & McGREGOR D.C. (eds), Palynology: principles and applications, Volume 3, American Association of Stratigraphic Palynologists’ Foundation, Dallas.
BEFFA G., PEDROTTA T., COLOMBAROLI D., HENNE P.D., VAN LEEUWEN J.F., SÜSS­TRUNK P., KALTENRIEDER P., ADOLF C., VOGEL H., PASTA S., ANSELMETTI F.S., GOBET E. & TINNER W. 2016. Vegetation and fire history of coastal north-eastern Sardinia (Italy) under changing Holocene climates and land use. Veg. Hist.Archaeobot., 25: 271–289.
BEHRE K-E. 2007. Evidence for Mesolithic agriculture in and around central Europe? Veg. Hist. Archaeobot., 16: 203–219.
BERNARDINI P., SANTONI V. & SOLINAS E. 1993. Il Mistero di Santa Gilla. Archeologia Viva, 37: 26–40.
BOURDON S., LAGGOUN-DEFARGE F., DISNAR J.R., MAMAN O., GUILLET B., DERENNE S. & LARGEAU C. 2000. Organic matter sources and early diagenetic degradation in a tropical peaty marsh (Tritrivakely, Madagascar). Implications for environmental reconstruction during the Sub-Atlantic. Org. Geochem., 21: 421–438.
BUOSI C., PITTAU P., DEL RIO M., MUREDDU D. & LOCCI M.C. 2013. Palynological investigation of funerary urn contents from the Roman Imperial Age necropolis in Sardinia (Italy). Palynology, 37: 130–42.
BUOSI C., DEL RIO M., ORRÙ P., PITTAU P., SCANU G.G. & SOLINAS E. 2017. Sea level changes and past vegetation in the Punic period (5th–4th century BC): Archaeological, geomorphological and palaeobotanical indicators (South Sardinia–West Mediterranean Sea). Quat. Inter., 439: 141–157.
BUOSI C., PITTAU P., PAGLIETTI G., SCANU G.G., SERRA M., UCCHESU M. & TANDA G. 2015. A human occupation cave during the bronze age: archaeological and palynological applications of a case study in Sardinia (western Mediterranean). Archaeometry, 57 S1: 212–231.
CIRILLI S., BURATTI N., GUGLIOTTI L. & FRIXA A. 2015. Palynostratigraphy and palynofacies of the Upper Triassic Streppenosa Formation (SE Sicily, Italy) and inference on the main controlling factors in the organic rich shale deposition. Rev. Palaeobot. Palynol., 218: 67–79.
CLEAL C.J., SCANU G.G., BUOSI C., PITTAU P. & KUSTATSCHER E. 2017. Middle Pennsylvanian vegetation of the San Giorgio Basin, southern Sardinia (Italy). Geol. Magaz., 154: 1155–1170.
COHEN A.D., GAGE C.P. & MOORE W.S. 1999. Combining organic petrography and palynology to assess anthropogenic impacts on peatlands. Part 1. An example from the northern Everglades of Florida. Int. J. Coal. Geol., 39: 3–45.
COMBAZ A. 1964. Les palynofaciès. Rev. Micropaleontol., 7: 205–218.
CROSS A.T. 1964. Plant Microfossils and Geology an Introduction. Special publication (Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists) 11.
CUGNY C., MAZIER F. & GALOP D. 2010. Modern and fossil non-pollen palynomorphs from the Basque mountains (western Pyrenees, France): the use of coprophilous fungi to reconstruct pastoral activity. Veg. Hist. Archaeobot., 19: 391–408.
CURRÁS A., GHILARDI M., PECHE-QUILICHINI K., FAGEL N., VACCHI M., DELANGHE D., DUSSOUILLEZ P., VELLA C., BONTEMPI J.M. & OTTAVIANI J.C. 2017. Reconstructing past landscapes of the eastern plain of Corsica (NW Mediterranean) during the last 6000 years based on molluscan, sedimentological and palynological analyses. J. Archaeol. Sci. Rep., 12: 755–769.
DAVIS O.K. & SHAFER D.S. 2006. Sporormiella fungal spores, a palynological means of detecting herbivore density. Palaeogeogr. Palaeoclim. Palaeoecol., 237: 40–50.
DEPALMAS A. & MELIS R.T. 2011. The Nuragic People: Their Settlements, Economic Activities and Use of the Land, Sardinia, Italy: 167–186. In: Martini I.P., Chesworth W. (eds), Landscapes and Societies. Springer Science+Business Media B.V., Dordrecht.
DI GIOVANNI C., DISNAR J.R., CAMPY M. & MACAIRE J.J. 1999. Variability of the ancient organic supply in modern humus. Analusis, 27: 398–402.
DI RITA F. & MELIS R.T. 2013. The cultural landscape near the ancient city of Tharros (central West Sardinia): vegetation changes and human impact. J. Archaeol. Sci., 40: 4271–4282.
ERDTMAN G. 1986. Pollen Morphology and Plant Taxonomy: Angiosperms. The Netherlands, Leiden.
Faegri K. & Iversen J. 1989. Textbook of pollen analysis, 4th ed. Munksgaard, Copenhagen.
FIACCONI M. & HUNT C.O. 2015. Pollen taphonomy at Shanidar Cave (Kurdish Iraq): an initial evaluation. Rev. Palaeobot. Palynol., 223: 87–93.
FLORENZANO A., MARIGNANI M., ROSATI L., FASCETTI S. & MERCURI A. M. 2015. Are Cichorieae an indicator of open habitats and pastoralism in current and past vegetation studies? Plant Biosystems – An International Journal Dealing with all Aspects of Plant Biology, 149(1): 154–165.
FONZO O. 2005. Conservazione e trasporto delle carni a Cagliari in età punica: 365–369. In: Fiore I., Malerba G. & Chilardi S. (eds), Atti del terzo Convegno AIAZ, Roma.
FYFE R.M. 2012. Bronze Age landscape dynamics: spatially detailed pollen analysis from a ceremonial complex. J. Archaeol. Sci., 39: 2764–73.
GARCÍA MURO V.J., RUBINSTEIN C.V. & MARTÍNEZ M.A. 2016. Palynology and palynofacies analysis of a Silurian (Llandovery–Wenlock) marine succession from the Precordillera of western Argentina: Palaeobiogeographical and palaeoenvironmental significance. Mar. Micropaleontol., 126: 50–64.
GASTALDO R.A. & HUC A.Y. 1992. Sediment facies, depositional environments, and distribution of phytoclasts in the Recent Mahakam River delta, Kalimantan, Indonesia. Palaios, 7: 574–590.
GASTALDO R.A., RIEGEL W., PÜTTMANN W., LINNEMANN U.G. & ZETTER, R. 1998. A multidisciplinary approach to reconstruct the Late Oligocene vegetation in central Europe. Rev. Palaeobot. Palynol., 101: 71–94.
GEIB P.R. & SMITH S.J. 2008. Palynology and archaeological inference: bridging the gap between pollen washes and past behaviour. J. Archaeol. Sci., 35: 2085–2101.
GRAF M. & CHMURA G.L. 2006. Development of modern analogues for natural, mowed and grazed grasslands using pollen assemblages and coprophilous fungi. Rev. Palaeobot. Palynol., 141: 139–149.
GRILL S., FRANCO V. & SALAZAR J. 2013. Condiciones climáticas y ambientales durante el primer milenio de la era en el Valle de Tafí, Tucumán, Argentina. Rev. Bras. Paleontol, 16: 495–506.
GRILL S., BORROMEI A., MARTÍNEZ G., GUTIERREZ M.A., CORNOU M.E. & OLIVERA D. 2007. Palynofacial analysis in alkaline soils and paleoenvironmental implications: The Paso Otero 5 archaeological site (Necochea district, Buenos Aires province, Argentina). J. South Am. Earth Sci., 24: 34–47.
HAMMER Ø., HARPER D.A.T. & RYAN P.D. 2001. PAST: Paleontological statistics software package for education and data analysis. Palaeontol. Electron., 4.
HOCHULI P.A., ROGHI G. & BRACK P. 2015. Palynological zonation and particulate organic matter of the Middle Triassic of the Southern Alps (Seceda and Val Gola–Margon sections, Northern Italy). Rev. Palaeobot. Palynol., 218: 28–47.
KOCH G., PRTOLJAN B., HUSINEC A. & HAJEK-TADESSE V. 2017. Palynofacies and paleoenvironment of the Upper Jurassic mud-supported carbonates, southern Croatia: Preliminary evaluation of the hydrocarbon source rock potential. Mar. Petrol. Geol., 80: 243–253.
KUMAR M., SPICER R. A., SPICER T.E.V., SHUKLA A., MEHROTRA R.C. & MONGA P. 2016. Palynostratigraphy and palynofacies of the early Eocene Gurha lignite mine, Rajasthan, India. Palaeogeogr. Palaeoclim. Palaeoecol., 461: 98–108.
LAGGOUN-DÉFARGE F., PRADIER B., BROSSE E., BELIN S. & OUDIN J.L. 1995. Analyse microtexturale des sédiments organiques du Delta de la Mahakam (Indonésie). Relations avec les environnements de dépôt. Comptes rendus de l’Académie des sciences de Paris. Série 2. Sciences de la Terre et des Planètes, 320: 1055–1061.
LÓPEZ P., LÓPEZ SÁEZ J.A. & ROSARIO M. 2005. Studio de la paleovegetación de algunos yacimientos de la Edad del Bronce en el SE de Cerdeña. Anejos de Complutum, 10: 91–105.
LOPEZ-SAEZ J.A. & LOPEZ-MERINO L. 2007. Coprophilous fungi as a source of information of anthropic activities during the Prehistory in the Amblés Valley (Ávila, Spain): The archaeopalynological record. Rev. Esp. Micropaleontol., 39: 103–116.
LUGLIÈ C., SANNA I., CONGIA C., PITTAU P. & BUOSI C. 2012. Il Neolitico antico terminale di Sa Punta – Marceddì (Terralba, OR). Atti della XLIV Riunione Scientifica – La Preistoria e la Protostoria della Sardegna, 463–470.
MARIOTTI LIPPI M., BELLINI C., MORI SECCI M. & GONNELLI T. 2009. Comparing seeds/fruits and pollen from a Middle Bronze Age pit in Florence (Italy). J. Archaeol. Sci., 36: 1135–41.
MARTELLA P., PUSCEDDU V. & FLORIS R. 2012. Human osteoarchaeology of Monte Claro culture Eneolithic remains in Southern-Central Sardinia. J. Biol. Res., 84: 85–87.
MAZIER F., GALOP D., GAILLARD M.J., RENDU C., CUGNY C., LEGAZ A., PEYRON O. & BUTTLER A. 2009. Multidisciplinary approach to reconstructing local pastoral activities: an example from the Pyrenean Mountains (Pays Basque). The Holocene, 19: 171–188.
MELIS R.T., DEPALMAS A., DI RITA F., MONTIS F. & VACCHI M. 2017. Mid to late Holocene environmental changes along the coast of western Sardinia (Mediterranean Sea). Glob. Plane. Change, 155: 29–41.
MERCURI A.M. 2008. Human influence, plant landscape evolution and climate inferences from the archaeobotanical records of the Wadi Teshuinat area (Libyan Sahara). J. Arid Environ., 72: 1950–67.
MERCURI A.M., SADORI L. & BLASI C. 2010. Archaeo­botany for cultural landscape and human impact reconstructions. Plant Biosyst., 144: 860–864.
MERCURI A.M., ALLEVATO E., AROBBA D., BANDINI MAZZANTI M., BOSI G, CARAMIELLO R., CASTIGLIONI E., CARRA M.L., CELANT A., COSTANTINI L., DI PASQUALE G., FIORENTINO G., FLORENZANO A., GUIDO M., MARCHESINI M., MARIOTTI LIPPI M., MARVELLI S., MIOLA A., MONTANARI C., NISBET R., PEÑA-CHOCAR­RO L., PEREGO R., RAVAZZI C., ROTTOLI M., SADORI L., UCCHESU M. & RINALDI R. 2015. Pollen and macroremains from Holocene archaeological sites: A dataset for the understanding of the bio-cultural diversity of the Italian landscape. Rev. Palaeobot. Palynol., 218: 250–266.
MOORE P.D., WEBB J.A. & COLLINSON M.E. 1991. Pollen Analysis. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford.
MORALES J., PÉREZ-JORDÀ G., PEÑA-CHOCARRO L., ZAPATA L., RUÍZ-ALONSO M., LÓPEZ-SÁEZ J.A. & LINSTÄDTER J. 2013. The origins of agriculture in North-West Africa: macro-botanical remains from Epipalaeolithic and Early Neolithic levels of Ifri Oudadane (Morocco). J. Archaeol. Sci., 40: 2659–2669.
NOËL H., GARBOLINO E., BRAUER A., LALLIER-VERGES E., DE BEAULIEU J.-L. & DISNAR J.-R. 2001. Human impact and soil erosion during the last 5000 yrs as recorded in lacustrine sedimentary organic matter at Lac d’Annecy, the French Alps. J. Paleolimnol., 25: 229–244.
NOVÁK J., ABRAHAM V., KOČÁR P., PETR L., KOČÁROVÁ R., NOVÁKOVÁ K., HOUFKOVÁ P., JANKOVSKÁ V. & VANĚČEK Z. 2017. Middle-and upper-Holocene woodland history in central Moravia (Czech Republic) reveals biases of pollen and anthracological analysis. The Holocene, 27: 349–360.
OKEKE K.K. & UMEJI O.P. 2016. Palynostratigraphy, palynofacies and palaeoenvironment of deposition of Selandian to Aquitanian sediments, southeastern Nigeria. J. Afr. Earth Sci., 120: 102–124.
PESCINI V., MONTANARI C.A. & MORENO D.T. 2018. Multi-proxy record of environmental changes and past land use practices in a Mediterranean landscape: The Punta Mesco cape (Liguria – Italy) between the 15th and 20th century. Quat. Int., 463: 376–390.
PIGNATTI S. 1982. Flora d’Italia. Edagricole, Bologna.
Pini R., Ravazzi C., Raiteri L., Guerreschi A., Castellano L. & Comolli R. 2017. From pristine forests to high-altitude pastures: an ecological approach to prehistoric human impact on vegetation and landscapes in the western Italian Alps. J. Ecol., 105: 1580–1597.
PIPERNO D.R. 2006. Phytoliths. A comprehensive guide for archaeologists and palaeoecologists. Altamira Press, Oxford.
PITTAU P., LUGLIÈ C. BUOSI C., SANNA I. & DEL RIO M. 2012. Palynological interpretation of the Early Neolithic coastal open-air site at Sa Punta (central-western Sardinia, Italy). J. Archaeol. Sci., 39: 1260–1270.
PUSCEDDU V., MARTELLA P., FLORIS R. & DEL VAIS C. 2012. Phoenician-Punic inhumations from Othoca Necropolis (Santa Severa, Santa Giusta - Or). J. Biol. Res., 84: 190–193.
REILLE M. 1995. Pollen et Spores d’Europe et d’Afrique du Nord. Suppl. 1. Laboratoire de Botanique Historique et Palynologie, Marseille.
REILLE M. 1998. Pollen et spores d’Europe et d’Afrique du Nord. Suppl. 2. Laboratoire de Botanique Historique et Palynologie, Marseille.
REILLE M. 1999. Pollen et spores d’Europe et d’Afrique du Nord, seconde ed. Laboratoire de Botanique Historique et Palynologie, Marseille.
SABATO D., MASI A., PEPE C., UCCHESU M., PEÑA-CHOCARRO L., USAI A., GIACHI G. CAPRETTI C. & BACCHETTA G. 2015. Archaeobotanical analysis of a Bronze Age well from Sardinia: a wealth of knowledge. Plant Biosystems-An International Journal Dealing with all Aspects of Plant Biology, 149: 205–215.
SADORI L., MERCURI A.M. & MARIOTTI LIPPI M. 2010. Reconstructing past cultural landscape and human impact using pollen and plant macroremains. Plant Biosyst., 144: 940–51.
SADORI L., GIRAUDI C., MASI A., MAGNY M., ORTU E., ZANCHETTA G. & IDEBSKI A. 2016. Climate, environment and society in southern Italy during the last 2000 years. A review of the environmental, historical and archaeological evidence. Quat. Sci. Rev., 136: 173–188.
SEBAG D., COPARD Y., DI GIOVANNI C., DURAND A., LAIGNEL B. OGIER, S. & LALLIER-VERGES E. 2006a. Palynofacies as useful tool to study origins and transfers of particulate organic matter in recent terrestrial environments: Synopsis and prospects. Earth-Sci. Rev., 79: 241–259.
SEBAG D., DI GIOVANNI C., OGIER S., MESNAGE V., LAGGOUN-DÉFARGE F. & DURAND A. 2006b. Inventory of sedimentary organic matter in modern wetland (Marais Vernier, Normandy, France) as source-indicative tools to study Holocene alluvial deposits (Lower Seine Valley, France). Int. J. Coal. Geol., 67: 1–16.
SEBIS S. & PAU L. 2012. L’insediamento nuragico di Sipoi, Baratili S. Pietro (OR). La preistoria e protostoria della Sardegna. Atti della XVIV Riunione Scientifica, 1393–1398.
SERNA Y., VELEZ M.I. & ESCOBAR J. 2015. Microscopic organic matter particles in late Holocene riparian sediments near the Cauca River, Colombia. J. Paleolimnol., 54: 325–344.
SOLINAS E. & ORRÙ P. 2006. Santa Gilla: spiagge sommerse e frequentazione di epoca punica: 249–252. In: Giannattasio B.M. (Ed.), Aequora, pontos, jam, mare… Mare, uomini e merci nel Mediterraneo Antico. Atti del Convegno Internazionale (Genova, 9–10 dicembre 2004), All’insegna del Giglio, Firenze.
SOLINAS E. 1997. La laguna di Santa Gilla: testimonianze di età punica: 177–183. In: Bernardini P., D’Oriano R. & Spanu P.G. (eds), Phoinikes b Shrdn. I Fenici in Sardegna. Nuove Acquisizioni, Oristano.
STUIVER M., REIMER P.J. & REIMER R.W. 2016. CALIB 7.1 (WWW program) available from: Accessed September 2017.
TRAVERSE A. 2007. Some factors affecting practical applications of paleopalynology: 581–613. Paleopalynology, second edition. Springer, Dordrecht.
TYSON R.V. 1995. Sedimentary organic matter: organic facies and palynofacies. Chapman & Hall, London.
UCCHESU M., PEÑA-CHOCARRO L., SABATO D. & TANDA G. 2015. Bronze Age subsistence in Sardinia, Italy: cultivated plants and wild resources. Veg. Hist. Archaeobot., 24: 343–355.
UGAS G. 1982. Il villaggio di fase Monte Claro di Corti Beccia e reperti della capanna 10 ovest. Ricerche archeologiche nel territorio di Sanluri: mostra grafica e fotografica, 13–18.
VAN DER ZWAN C.J. 1990. Palynostratigraphy and palynofacies reconstruction of the Upper Jurassic to lowermost Cretaceous of the Draugen field, offshore mid Norway. Rev. Palaeobot. Palynol., 62: 157–186.
VAN GEEL B. & APTROOT A. 2006. Fossil ascomycetes in Quaternary deposits. Nova Hedwigia, 82: 313–329.
VAN GEEL B. 2001. Non-pollen palynomorphs: 99–119. In: Smol J.P., Birks H.J.B., Last W.M. (eds) Tracking environmental change using lake sediments, volume 3: terrestrial, algal, and siliceous indicators. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht.
VAN GEEL B., BOHNCKE S.J.P. & DEE H. 1981. A palaeoecological study of an Upper Late glacial and Holocene sequence from “de Borchert”, the Netherlands. Rev. Palaeobot. Palynol., 31: 367–448.
Notulae to the Italian native vascular flora: 9
Fabrizio Bartolucci, Gianniantonio Domina, Sebastiano Andreatta, Roberto Angius, Nicola Ardenghi, Gianluigi Bacchetta, Sandro Ballelli, Enrico Banfi, Davide Barberis, Giuseppina Barberis, Liliana Bernardo, Alessio Bertolli, Gianmaria Bonari, Maurizio Bovio, Ian Briozzo, Giovanni Buccomino, Giacomo Calvia, Giuseppina Chianese, Carlo Cibei, Fabio Conti, Maurizio Copez, Antonietta Crisanti, Davide Dagnino, Filippo Di, Assunta Esposito, Simonetta Fanni, Francesco Festi, Luigi Forte, Gabriele Galasso, Rodolfo Gentili, Günter Gottschlich, Edda Lattanzi, Paola Liguori, Maria Locci, Daniela Longo, Michele Lonati, Fernando Lucchese, Dino Marchetti, Mauro Mariotti, Flavio Menini, Luigi Minuto, Giovanna Orrù, Maria Pala, Nicodemo Passalacqua, Mariangela Pellegrino, Riccardo Pennesi, Lorenzo Peruzzi, Lorenzo Pinzani, Gina Pirastru, Filippo Prosser, Enri Ravetto, Francesco Roma-Marzio, Giovanni Russo, Anna Scoppola, Giuseppe Silletti, Adriano Stinca, Chiara Toffolo, Valeria Tomaselli, Giancarlo Tondi, Maurizio Trenchi, Claudia Turcato, Chiara Nepi
Italian Botanist