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Journal Article

Journal article

Archaeobotanical analysis of a Bronze Age well from Sardinia: A wealth of knowledge  [2015]

Sabato, D.; Masi, A.; Pepe, C.; Ucchesu, M.; et al.

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In 2008, during a rescue excavation in the Sa Osa area, near the town of Cabras (Sardinia, Italy), a Nuragic settlement was discovered. The excavation revealed numerous pits, wells and structures dug by the local communities between the Early Copper Age and the Iron Age. These structures were interpreted as elements of a settlement mainly involved in primary production. The most remarkable structure is Well-N, radiocarbon and archaeologically dated to the Late Bronze Age, which has yielded large amounts of waterlogged plant remains, animal and fish bones and pottery. Despite the limited set of samples, the combination of macro-remain and pollen analyses in this unique context provides important information useful for exploring not only local subsistence systems but also human impact on the surrounding environment. Grapes and figs are the most abundant remains together with other fruits and edible vascular plants. Remains of melon and mulberry were identified being the earliest remains of these two species for Western Europe. Their presence may confirm early trade between Nuragic people and the eastern Mediterranean and/or African coasts. Intentional selection of wood suggests practices associated to the collection of raw material for specific technological demands. The presence of intestinal parasites in the pollen record points to the possible use of the well as a cesspit, at least in its later use, and this is one of the earliest evidence of this type of
structures in prehistoric contexts.

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Plant biosystems

ISSN : 1724-5575