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Scientific Research

Pollen

 

Paleobotanical and Archaeozoological Studies. The study of ancient plant life in the chora of Metapontum began with the discovery at Pantanello (1978) of rich and varied deposits of organic remains including pollen, miraculously preserved in anaerobic levels of the spring-sanctuary, and the participation of Lorenzo Costantini. The study of the faunal remains from Pantanello and all other excavated sites began at the same time and was given impetus and precision by Sandor Bökönyi. Investigation of ancient plant and animal remains has been basic to ICA's approach ever since (see Capo Alfiere, Croton, and Chersonesos).

Physical Anthropology. Analysis of human skeletal remains from excavated burials has been standard procedure at ICA since the rescue excavation of rural graves at Saldone (1976). Physical anthropology became a major component of ICA's research program with the massive work of Maciej and Renata Henneberg on the Pantanello Necropolis (1985-present). The results of their work have been fundamental for our knowledge of the physical characteristics and health status of the ancient Greeks (see Chersonesos).

Geoarchaeology and Geomorphology. The existence of traces, unique in the West, of ancient features interpreted as evidence of land division (see also Chersonesos) stimulated an investigation of the relation of human settlement in the chora of Metapontum to the underlying geological and hydrological structure of the landscape by Robert Folk (1980-1981). The detailed study of the regional geomorphology (1991-1994) by James Abbott has proved essential to a full understanding of the results of the field survey and the changing pattern of human settlement from prehistoric times to the present (see Croton, Chersonesos).

Geomorphologist Jim Abbott