This project deals with one of the big knowledge gaps in prehistory in Italy regarding the evidence of grape domestication. Plants have been of fundamental importance for human societies across the planet. However, there is a gap when it comes to archaeological evidence of the domestication process of fruit trees during the majority of prehistory and protohistory. This work aims to investigate the beginning of the study of the origins of the cultivation of grapes and adoption of winemaking in Italy. The main objectives are: 1) to investigate the beginning of viticulture in Italy; 2) to determine the time of adoption of winemaking. Materials are represented by macroremains such as grape seeds and charcoal remains to which is added the analysis of ancient organic residues trapped in archaeological materials (pottery). The investigation will be applied to archaeological Italian sites and will cover an extensive chronology: between the 6th and the 1st millennium BC. The challenge of the work is to obtain archaeological visibility of the grape domestication process and adoption of winemaking through an interdisciplinary approach that combines morphometric analysis of archaeological grape seeds by computer vision technique charcoal analyses and chemical analysis of ancient organic residues trapped in archaeological materials. As a whole, the proposed project aims to be on the cutting-edge of existing efforts in the field to produce reliable data and original interpretations on the origins of viticulture and winemaking. Furthermore, it will allow us to highlight the timing of the emergence of domestic traits and the duration of the domestication episode of grapevine and provide new information on agriculture related to prehistoric vineyards.
Fields of science
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