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DOI 10.4461/GFDQ.2013.36.18


Geoarchaeology as a tool for reconstructing the evolution of the Apuo-Versilian Plain (NW Italy).

Pages 215-224


A geoarchaeological approach integrating geomorphological, stratigraphical and archaeologic data was adopted to reconstruct the palaeogeographic evolution of an area of the Apuo-Versilian plain since the Etruscan age. We produced a geomorphological map, analyzed stratigraphy data from sections/boreholes in the plain, and compiled a dataset of archaeological findings with a particular focus on the Acquarella site which is an outstanding settlement in the area. The plotting of the archaeological findings on the geomorphological map allowed to better constraint the landforms surveyed by field work and remote sensing analyses. The analyzed stratigraphic data suggests a discontinuous trend of coastal progradation. Oscillations in this trend are testified by four small scale transgressive – regressive parasequences that occurred after 4600 yrs cal B.C.. In agreement with the archaeological findings on the surface, the base of the uppermost sequence was dated to ca 500 cal AD, implying that since the Early Middles Ages the progradation trend has been continuous. Furthermore, a pronounced increase in progradation was observed after the 16th century, probably linked to both climatic influence (Little Ice Age) and human impacts (deforestation). The Acquarella rustic building has developed in this coastal-piedmont context since the Etruscan age. The reason for its longevity (6th century B.C. – Early Middle Ages) was related to a suite of environmental aspects such as the protection offered by the surrounding hills, water availability, and the elevation above a coastal plain experiencing periodic flooding. Moreover, a crucial element was identified in the position of the site in respect to the main ancient roads connecting Pisa to Luni (Via Aurelia/Aemilia) and the coastal area with the inland. The correlation of the geomorphology with the archeological data from Acquarella, along with the other findings along the coastal-piedmont area allowed to depict the landscape scenarios relative to the Etruscan, Roman, Early Middle ages and Modern ages.

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