Pollen-wood analysis at the Neapolis harbour site (1st-3rd century AD, Southern Italy) and its archaeobotanical implications

Abstract : Three Roman shipwrecks (Napoli A and Napoli C e 1st cent. AD; Napoli B e 2nd century AD) were recovered in the sandy-silt sediments representing the infilling of a protected inlet of Neapolis harbor (Naples, southern Italy). Extensive wood analysis suggests that a very attentive selection of species was made in shipbuilding, the choice of timber being related to wood technological properties and to the structural uses of the construction elements. Pollen data obtained from the coeval sedimentary layers revealed that all the timber taxa (apart from Picea/Larix) were present in the surroundings of the study area. The identified forest taxa are very common in the Mediterranean basin and thus the pollen-wood comparison was not able to define the location of the shipyards. Broad comparison with westernMediterranean wrecks evidenced the peculiarity of the Neapolis ships where the systematic use of both Juglans regia and Cupressus sempervirens was highlighted. Archaeological, biogeographical and archaeobotanical considerations suggest the local provenance of the ship C and constrain the possible origin area of both the ship Napoli A and Napoli B to central-southern Tyrrhenian coasts
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Emilia Allevato, Elda Russo Ermolli, Giulia Boetto, Gaetano Di Pasquale. Pollen-wood analysis at the Neapolis harbour site (1st-3rd century AD, Southern Italy) and its archaeobotanical implications. Journal of Archaeological Science, Elsevier, 2010, 37, pp.2365-2375. ⟨halshs-01475222⟩

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