GIAP Seminars

The GIAP Seminar series returns for its 4th year! Join us from January to June for compelling presentations by guest researchers and lively discussions on cutting-edge advancements in research. These seminars are open to the public without prior registration – don’t miss out!

Next GIAP Seminar

20 June 2024, 18h CEST (UTC +2)

“The botanical approach to Archaeobotany: plants behaviour and human adaptation”

Prof. Anna Maria Mercuri 
Lab.of Palynology and Palaeobotany, Dept. Life Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy

Access the webinar herehttps://bit.ly/GIAPseminars2024
Open event. No registration required. Hosted in Microsoft Teams (no Microsoft/Teams account needed).

Abstract: 

The seminar will present the botanical principles governing the production and dispersal of pollen, fruits and wood, and what makes plants excellent bioindicators in ecology and archaeology. Studies in on-site and off-site contexts present very different problems and must be interpreted in substantially different ways; nevertheless, only their integrated study can lead to correct reconstructions of environmental and cultural dynamics. The study of the archaeological context, moreover, offers the possibility of understanding the plant-human relationship in detail, based on the biological characteristics of the two actors and the environmental conditions. Examples will be given from the archaeology of Italian and Saharan sites.

Keywords:

Palynology, environment, on-site, interdisciplinariety, database

About Prof. Mercuri: 

Full professor of Systematic Botany, she is is a member of the board of the Italian Botanical Society and president of the master degree in Biosciences. She has been coordinator of the Group of Palynology and Palaeobotany since 2012, and has directed numerous international projects.
She has developed integrated and innovative archaeopalynological and palaeoecological research to study the close relationship between climatic changes, environmental responses and cultural adaptations in the Mediterranean basin and central/southern Sahara. In 2014, he created the BRAIN database that she is developing within the Italian National Recovery and Resilience Plan. In 2023, she has promoted the establishment of the Thematic Working Group on Plant Biodiversity of the Past, in the framework of the National Biodiversity Future Centre.


2024 calendar

The 2024 series is organised by: Nazarij Buławka, Maria Ferrer Bonet and Federica Riso. Contact us if you have any questions!

18/01/2024 12h CET
Cattle through time: a long-term perspective on cattle husbandry in the Netherlands
Dr. Maaike Groot – Freie Universität Berlin

From the Neolithic, cattle were the most important domestic species in the Netherlands. Today they are outnumbered by pigs and chickens, but cattle remain the quintessential farm animal and dairy cows especially are inseparable from the Dutch lowland landscape. A recent project reviewed cattle husbandry in the Netherlands from the Neolithic to the Early Middle Ages, including not just archaeozoological data but also archaeological and archaeobotanical evidence. The aim was to see how cattle husbandry and cattle mobility have changed over time.
22/02/2024
12h CET
Insects: silent witnesses of our history
Prof. Stefano Vanin – DISTA – University of Genoa, Italy; IAS-CNR Genoa, Italy

Archaeoentomology is a branch of environmental archaeology focusing on insects and other arthropods contributing with other disciplines to reconstruct a more complete view of past events, climate and landscape. Funerary archaeoentomology, as defined by J.-B. Huchet in 1996, focus on the arthropods associated with human remains of archaeological interest or with elements part of funerary rituals such as offerings.In the last years several papers have been published dealing with insects associated with archaeological sites from all over the world: Egyptian mummies, mummified and skeletonized bodies of Kings, Saints and common people, remains of WWI soldiers but also llama furs have been investigated also from an entomological point of view to reconstruct the events occurred after their death. In all the cases, the majority of the findings are Insects in the orders Diptera and Coleoptera, whereas among the Arachnida mites represent the most important taxon. It is worth of mentioning that fleas and lice found on the bodies may provide interesting information also about the sanitary condition of the investigated population.
20/03/2024 12h CETSustainable hydraulic landscapes in southern Iraq
Dr. Jaafar Jotheri – University of Al Qadisiyah &
Dr. Louise Rayne – Newcastle University
In the arid environment of southern Iraq, irrigation is necessary to facilitate cultivation. Dense networks of intersecting and overlying canal systems have created a complex hydraulic landscape. In this seminar, we discuss how the landscape has developed in the long term, the factors which determined or limited its longevity and sustainability, and the tools we can use to study it.
An important criticism of water history research is the lack of scientific dating of features which are often dated by association with nearby settlements and monuments. Recent research including our projects focused around the site of Eridu has combined remote sensing analysis with field-based study to obtain samples for scientific dating. For example at Eridu we obtained C14 dates from our excavations of channels beginning in the 5th-4th Millenium, revealing the earliest stages of irrigation. Later dates encompassed the 3nd Millenium. In the 2nd millennium, the systems were abandoned, in this case due to a shift in the location of the Euphrates river.
Our research At Basra has focused on later water systems which were also abandoned. A large area of linear ridges has been linked to historical sources which suggests that these were the result of salt-clearing from the fields in the Early Islamic period, possibly a factor in the Zanj rebellion. Scientific dating by means of OSL as part of our work has found that these features are contemporaneous with this period. If these are hydraulic features as we expect, then their sustainability may have been limited due to salinity which ultimately led to their abandonment.
This pattern of water systems vulnerable to environmental hazards continues into the recent past and the present. A series of springs along the western edge of cultivation in Iraq has been surveyed in detail by Jotheri and his team. These have been developed since the Sasanian period and continued to feed canal systems but are now at risk due to climate change and pressures on water resources. We are now beginning a programme of monitoring and remote sensing analysis to record threats to the sustainability of this threatened hydraulic landscape.
18/04/2024 12h CESTLa arqueología de la Guerra Civil española. Paisaje, memoria y materiales
Prof. Jordi Ramos Ruiz – Universitat de Barcelona, UB / ATICS SL

Estado de la cuestión del papel que desempeña la arqueología en la recuperación de vestigios de la Guerra Civil española, así como, de la labor en las fosas de la Guerra Civil. Se dará respuesta a cómo y qué se ha conseguido en las actuaciones arqueológicas para la recuperación de la memoria y en proyectos de investigación forense. Finalmente, se planteará los retos de futuro de estas intervenciones para investigar este conflicto bélico en España.
14/05/2024 12h CESTReview of stable isotopic research on human diet, subsistence and mobility in Mesopotamia
Prof. Arkadiusz Sołtysiak – Faculty of Archaeology, University of Warsaw, Poland

Since 40 years, research on stable isotopes has become a very important tool in bioarchaeology, increasing our potential to reconstruct ancient economies and social complexities. So far, it was rarely used in research on human remains from ancient Mesopotamia and especially the southern alluvium is still almost a blank page in this respect. However, during recent decade a series of studies on populations living in northern Mesopotamia has been published, covering δ13C and δ15N values in human and animal collagen, 87Sr/86Sr and δ18O values in enamel bioapatite, sometimes combined with other bioarchaeological proxies of diet and mobility. Therefore we have now insight into diet, subsistence, mobility, food import, patterns of land use, weaning time, short time climate change etc. for a few archaeological sites, including Tell Arbid, Tell Brak, Tell Barri, Bakr Awa, Tell Masaikh, Tell Ashara, Tell Seh Hamad and Tell Bi’a. Although this dataset is still relatively limited, some general observations on temporal changes in economy between the Late Chalcolithic and the historical periods may be based on available evidence.
20/06/2024 18h CESTThe botanical approach to Archaeobotany: plants behaviour and human adaptation
Prof. Anna Maria Mercuri – Lab.of Palynology and Palaeobotany, Dept. Life Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy

The seminar will present the botanical principles governing the production and dispersal of pollen, fruits and wood, and what makes plants excellent bioindicators in ecology and archaeology. Studies in on-site and off-site contexts present very different problems and must be interpreted in substantially different ways; nevertheless, only their integrated study can lead to correct reconstructions of environmental and cultural dynamics. The study of the archaeological context, moreover, offers the possibility of understanding the plant-human relationship in detail, based on the biological characteristics of the two actors and the environmental conditions. Examples will be given from the archaeology of Italian and Saharan sites.

About the GIAP Seminars

Born in 2021, the GIAP Seminars are organised by our predoctoral and postdoctoral researchers as a reflection of their current research interests. We aim to provide glimpses of original and current research across the world, opening up new horizons in Landscape, Computational and Palaeoenvironmental Archaeology, and Bioarchaeology.

Regardless of career stage or academic position, we invite prominent researchers that reflect the interdisciplinarity and diversity of the field. Overall, the GIAP Seminars are an excellent opportunity to foster talent, broaden interests and network.

WHAT?

1h monthly seminars: 45′ of talk and 15′ of discussion.
Main topics of interest: Landscape, Computational and Palaeoenvironmental Archaeology, and Bioarchaeology.

FOR WHOM?

Addressed to researchers and students with interest in the listed topics. Open to the public.

Check past series of the GIAP Seminars

Does your research match the GIAP Seminars’ interests?

Whether you’re a PhD, postdoc or group leader, we look forward to your proposals! Send them to giap@icac.cat

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