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Book Chapter

Ostracods in archaeological sites along the Mediterranean coastlines: three case studies from the Italian peninsula

By
Ilaria Mazzini
Ilaria Mazzini
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, IGAG, Area della Ricerca di Roma 1 – Montelibretti, Via Salaria km 29, 300–00015 Monterotondo (Rome), Italy
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Veronica Rossi
Veronica Rossi
Dipartimento di Scienze Biologiche, Geologiche e Ambientali, University of Bologna, via Zamboni 67, Bologna 40127, Italy
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Simone Da Prato
Simone Da Prato
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, IGG, Area della Ricerca CNR – Via G. Moruzzi 1, Pisa 56124, Italy
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Valerio Ruscito
Valerio Ruscito
Dipartimento di Scienze Geologiche, Sapienza Universitá di Roma, Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Rome, Italy
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Published:
January 01, 2017

Abstract

Ancient harbour basins, lagoons and coastal lake sediments buried beneath the Mediterranean delta plains can be considered as long-term archives of anthropogenic impacts. The benefits of a micropalaeontological approach in studying archaeological sites located in marginal marine environments are that the archaeologically biased picture can be strongly enriched by detailed palaeolandscapes information.

In marginal marine environments, ostracods are known to be excellent indicators because: (1) many species have a well-known tolerance to salinity variations; (2) the analysis of population structure provides good indications about the autochthony of the assemblage; and (3) they react to even subtle environmental changes, both natural and anthropogenically forced, in terms of densities, distribution of selected species and phenotypic traits.

Examples of ostracod studies will focus on three site typologies: buried landlocked harbours, fluvial harbours and coastal lagoons/lakes. In those studies, the use of different but complementary approaches (archaeology v. micropalaeontology) allowed the reconstruction of diachronic landscapes, linking the natural evolution of coastal and alluvial plains to regional population and settlement dynamics.

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The Micropalaeontological Society, Special Publications

The Archaeological and Forensic Applications of Microfossils: A Deeper Understanding of Human History

M. Williams
M. Williams
University of Leicester, UK
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T. Hill
T. Hill
The Natural History Museum, UK
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I. Boomer
I. Boomer
University of Birmingham, UK
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I. P. Wilkinson
I. P. Wilkinson
British Geological Survey, UK
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Geological Society of London
Volume
7
ISBN electronic:
9781786203069
Publication date:
January 01, 2017

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